festival / 2013 news / races /
Salsify Snatches Dramatic Foxhunter
1 Salsify 2/1 Fav
2 Divine Intavention 50/1
3 Cottage Oak 9/1
NR: Rumbury Grey
23 ran Distances: 20l, nk, 68l
TIME 7m 15.50s (slow by 38.50s)
Favourite Salsify (2/1) landed his second successive CGA Foxhunter Chase in fortuitous circumstances on the final day of The Festival and his trainer conceded that he 'probably wouldn't have won' had Oscar Delta not unseated rider Jane Mangan on the run-in.
Rodger Sweeney - who also owns the horse - felt last year's winner was beaten after the pair jumped the last but Salsify was left to come home alone after Oscar Delta jinked and unshipped his pilot when about three lengths clear.
"We were very lucky and I am gutted for the woman (Mangan)," said Sweeney.
"Her father and mother are good friends of mine and it was just unfortunate that she didn't see the railing and she got dropped. I think that she had our lad beaten. One person's misfortune is another person's gain though.
"She was in full flight, driving on for the line and she is a very polished rider - she rode a beautiful race.
"Our horse did the same at Leopardstown - on ground that he didn't really fancy - and the ground came up wet again today, although I suppose it's the same for everyone. I would have to say that Jane Mangan would have been the winner."
Salsify's victory gave rider Colman Sweeney his third victory in this race following their success last year. Sweeney also won the CGA Foxhunter Chase for Paul Nicholls on board Sleeping Night in 2005.
"God was on my side you would say. I feel sorry for Jane (Mangan) but I did feel I was going to rally. Whether or not I would have got there, I don't know.
"He is a different horse all together on soft ground and was just a bit dead in my hands but when I needed a couple of big jumps, he gave it to me.
"He can be very, very keen so I dropped right out and he pulled hard until the first ditch but he settled away then. I think I might have left him a bit to do and if I had him close, maybe he would have been breathing down Jane's neck.
"One thing this fella does - he did it in Leopardstown - is rally and when I pull him out he stays on but I don't know if he would have got there today."
"I probably gave him a bit too much to do and left it a bit late making ground in hindsight. He is not as good on soft ground as he is on good ground and she got two lengths on us turning for home.
"You must feel for Jane. I know her quite well, she lives locally and I ride against her in point-to-points but that's racing.
"Jane falling and me winning doesn't matter when John Thomas is lying there in hospital. I ride against him every Sunday in point-to-points and I was sick to my stomach last night.
"I am delighted to win again though and I am delighted for the horse because he has been a great servant.
"I want to dedicate this win to John Thomas. You would have travel every single road in England and Ireland to find a bad word said against him and I don't think you'd do it. He is one of my best friends and he was one of the senior lads when I started and he is still one of the senior lads, and that's testimony to how good a rider he is."
CGA Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup
£40,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 2f 110y, Class 2
Going: SOFT (Good to Soft in places)
|Mr C J Sweeney
|2 - 1
Miss F Moller
|Mr M Wall
|50 - 1
J J O'Shea
|Mr P Gerety
|9 - 1
Mrs P Harkin
|Mr P Mann
|40 - 1
|Mr J J Codd
|12 - 1
Miss J Western
|Mr M Ennis
|66 - 1
|Mr J Barber
|9 - 2
Miss C Tizzard
|Mr D Edwards
|50 - 1
|Mr C P Shoemark
|25 - 1
Mrs E Crow
|Mr Tom David
|66 - 1
|Mr P York
|16 - 1
J P Ferguson
|Mr James Ferguson
|66 - 1
|Mr M Heard
|40 - 1
|Mr M P Fogarty
|16 - 1
|Mr B Gibbs
|66 - 1
|Mr R Hodges
|100 - 1
|Mr R G Henderson
|100 - 1
D M Christie
|Mr B O'Neill
|50 - 1
J J Mangan
|Miss Jane Mangan
|20 - 1
Miss S Duckett
|Mr S Drinkwater
|25 - 1
Miss S Duckett
|Mr N Wakefield
|20 - 1
P F Nicholls
|Mr S Clements
|10 - 1
|What A Laugh
|Mr G Brewer
|33 - 1
|Mr R Jarrett
PLACED HUNTERS SO THRILLED TO BE PART OF THE FESTIVAL ROAR
Twenty-three horses started, but just four finished in the CGA Foxhunter Chase, and there was huge drama on the run-in.
Oscar Delta, who had finished third in the past two years, jinked when clear of his rivals and unseated Jane Mangan, handing victory to 2/1 favourite Salsify and enabling a trio of British hunters to take a greater slice of the glory.
In second, beaten 20 lengths, was the Mark Wall-ridden Divine Intavention, who is trained near Banbury by Fran Moller for owner Hugh Wilson. Wall said: "That was as good as winning, because the ground has gone against him. I'm so pleased for the horse because a lot of people had written him off. That's my second ride in the race - on the first occasion I broke my collarbone.
"He got me out of trouble a couple of times - when horses get in deep to a fence on this ground they struggle to get their feet out, but Fran has done a great job with the horse."
Moller said: "We were hoping for better ground, so we're really pleased with that. Hugh was the official trainer last year, but he works in London and very kindly put the horse in my name this season, although nothing much has changed at home. I'd hate this horse to go to Aintree, but he could come back here for the evening meeting in May."
Paddy Gerety, riding at his first Festival, was beaten a neck into third on the Joe O'Shea-trained Cottage Oak. He said: "I'm very pleased, but he just didn't stay on that ground. If the race had been yesterday it might have been different."
Pauline Harkin owned and trained the fourth and final finisher, Doctor Kingsley, who was ridden by Peter Mann. Harkin said: "Our aim was simply to finish, so to reach the winner's enclosure is wonderful. For a lowly point-to-point trainer it's fantastic.
"He got colic on Monday night, and because it was so close to this race we couldn't give him any medication. We had to walk him for hours, but it's all been worth it. He's a great jumper, so Doug [her husband] would like him to run at Aintree, but I think that will be too sharp and it's more likely he will come back here for the Bonham's Men's Open Race Final in May."
OSCAR UNSHIPS MANGAN IN DRAMATIC FINISH
Oscar Delta, who has finished third in the CGA Foxhunter Chase for the past two years, looked destined to land this year's race before dramatically unshipping rider Jane Mangan on the run-in.
The 10-year-old - trained by Mangan's father Jimmy - looked keen to turn to go for another circuit and caught his rider by surprise when around three lengths clear of eventual winner Salsify.
"It's felt like it was a dream when I hit the ground," said 19-year-old Mangan. "It was like a Disney film or something.
"He just thought we were going for another circuit, then he jinked, corrected himself and I wasn't ready. But as Dad said, thinking of the McNamaras, that it could be a lot worse."
Jimmy Mangan added: "The only thing hurt is Jane's pride and I consoled her and told her to think of poor J T (McNamara) and his family. It could have been a lot worse.
"She gave the horse a brilliant ride, I couldn't be more proud of her. The horse just headed to go and run out in the country again. But we will be back."
CHRISTIE’S FOXHUNTER CHASE
2012-WINNER-SALSIFY 7-12-00 Owner-Joan Sweeney; Trainer-Rodger Sweeney IRE; Jockey-Mr Colman Sweeney; SP-7/1
2ND-Chapoturgeon 8-12-00 Owner-David Johnson & Paul Nicholls; Trainer-Richard Barber; Jockey-Mr Jack Barber;
3RD-Oscar Delta 9-12-00 Owner-Karen O’Driscoll; Trainer-Jimmy Mangan IRE; Jockey-Mr Damien Murphy; SP-28/1
22 ran, Time-6m 44.40s, Dist-1, 11
2011-WINNER-ZEMSKY 8-12-00 Owner-Ronnie Bartlett; Trainer-Ian Ferguson IRE; Jockey- Mr Derek O’Connor; SP-33/1
2ND Mid Div And Creep 11-11-07 Owner-Mrs K Exall; Trainer-Alan Hill; Jockey-Ms Gina Andrews; SP-100/1
3RD Oscar Delta 8-12-00 Owner-Karen O’Driscoll; Trainer-Jimmy Mangan IRE; Jockey-Mr Damien Murphy; SP-25/1
24 ran, Time-6m 37.20s, Dist 17, 2 3/1 Jt Favs On The Fringe (4th), Baby Run (UR)
2010-WINNER-BABY RUN 10-12-00 Owner-John Goodman; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Mr Sam Twiston-Davies; SP-9/2 Jt Fav 2ND Kilty Storm 11-12-00 Owner-Sean Lucey; Trainer-Roger McGrath IRE; Jockey-Mr Declan Queally; SP-16/1 3RD Reach For The Top 9-12-00 Owner-Mike Tuckey; Trainer-Mike Tuckey; Jockey-Mr Ben Tuckey; SP-66/1
24 ran, Time-6m 56.00s, Dist-5, 7 9/2 Jt Fav Roulez Cool (BD)
2009-WINNER-CAPPA BLEU 7-12-00 Owner-William & Angela Rucker; Trainer-Sheila Crow; Jockey-Mr Richard Burton; SP-11/2
2ND Turthen 8-12-00 Owner-Charles Fox; Trainer-Charles Fox; Jockey-Miss Charlotte Tizzard; SP-25/1
3RD Baby Run 9-12-00 Owner-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Mr Sam Twiston-Davies; SP14/1
24 ran, Time-6m 54.30s, Dist-12, ½ 7/2 Fav Juveigneur (12th)
2008-WINNER-AMICELLI 9-12-00 Owner-Lord Daresbury; Trainer-Cherry Coward; Jockey-Mr Oliver Greenall; SP-33/1
2ND Bon Accord 8-12-00 Owner-I R Mann; Trainer-Alan Hill; Jockey-Mr James Tudor; SP-15/2
3RD Arctic Times 12-12-00 Owner-Trevor Hemmings; Trainer-Eugene O’Sullivan IRE; Jockey-Mr Damien Murphy; SP-40/1
23 ran, Time-7m 1.20s, Dist-6, 1½ 5/1 Fav Agus A Vic (PU)
2007-WINNER-DROMBEAG 9-12-00 Owner-J
P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill;
Jockey-Mr J T McNamara; SP-20/1
2ND Whyso Mayo 10-12-00 Owner-Kathleen O’Driscoll; Trainer-Ray
Hurley IRE; Jockey-Mr Damien Murphy; SP-2/1 Fav
3RD Ned Kelly 11-12-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Edward O’Grady
IRE; Jockey-Mr Kevin Power; SP-20/1
24 ran, Time-6m 46.60s, Dist-½, 15
MAYO 9-12-00 Owner-Kathleen O’Driscoll;
Trainer-Ray Hurley IRE; Jockey-Mr Damien Murphy; SP-20/1
2ND First Down Jets 9-12-00 Owner-J B O’Mahoney’ Trainer-Liam
Burke; Jockey-Mr Colman Sweeney; SP-66/1
3RD Joe Blake 11-12-00 Owner-Ronnie Bartlett; Trainer-Ian Ferguson IRE;
Jockey-Mr Mark O’Hare; SP-14/1
24 ran, Time-6m 42.70s, Dist-1, 1.25 11/4 Fav Harbour Pilot (PU)
NIGHT 9-12-00 Owner-David & F
A Jackson; Trainer-Paul Nicholls: Jockey-Mr Colman Sweeney; SP-7/2
2ND Foly Pleasant 11-12-00 Owner-Nick Shutts; Trainer-Nick Shutts; Jockey-Mr
Richard Burton: SP-20/1
3RD Placid Man 11-12-00 Owner-Tim Jones and Partners; Trainer-Alex Embiricos;
Jockey-Alex Embiricos; SP-14/1 24 ran, Time-6m 50.3s, Dist-.75, 11
2004-WINNER-EARTHMOVER 13-12-00 Owner-Roger Penny; Trainer-Paul Nicholls;
Jockey-Miss Rilly Goschen; SP-14/1
2ND Never Compromise 9-12-00 Owner-Dermot Desmond; Trainer-Ted Walsh
IRE; Jockey-Mr Alan Crowe; SP-9/2
3RD County Derry 11-12-00 Owner-G T Lever; Trainer-Jeremy Scott; Jockey-Mr
Neil Harris; SP-16/1
24 ran, Time-6m 57.10s, Dist-4, 12 3/1 Fav Lord Atterbury (PU)
2003-WINNER-KINGSCLIFF 6-12-00 Owner-Arnold Sendell; Trainer-Sally Alner;
Jockey-Mr Richard Young; SP-11/4 Fav
2ND Bright Approach 10-12-00 Owner-John Burridge; Trainer-Ollie Bush;
Jockey-Miss Polly Gundry; SP-20/1
3RD Last Option 11-12-00 Owner-Robin Tate; Trainer-Robin Tate; Jockey-Mrs
Fiona Needham; SP-16/1
24 ran, Time-6m 49.50s, Dist-2.5, .5
2002-WINNER-LAST OPTION 10-12-00 Owner/Trainer-Robin Tate; Jockey-Mrs
Fiona Needham; SP-20/1
2ND-Gunner Welburn 10-12-00 Owner-William Ritson; Trainer-Caroline Bailey;
Jockey-Mr Rowan Cope; SP-8/1
3RD-Torduff Express 11-12-00 Owner-Two Plus Two; Trainer-Paul Nicholls;
Jockey-Miss Polly Gundry; SP-10/1
20 ran, Time-7m 1.60s, Dist-.5, .5 11/4 Fav Horus (PU)
2000-WINNER-CAVALERO 11-12-00 Owner-John Manners; Trainer-John Manners;
Jockey-Mr Alex Charles-Jones; SP-16/1
2ND-Real Value 9-12-00 Owner-Alan Cowing; Trainer-Di Grissell; Jockey-Mr
Ben Hitchcott; SP-8/1
3RD-Trade Dispute 8-12-00 Owner-Grant Tuer; Trainer-Edwin Tuer; Jockey-Mr
Grant Tuer; SP-9/1
24 ran, Time-6m 36.60s, Dist-.75, 1.25 3/1 Fav Mighty Moss (5th)
1999-WINNER-CASTLE MANE 7-12-00 Owner-Charles Dixey; Trainer-Caroline
Bailey; Jockey-Mr Ben Pollock; SP- 9/2
2ND-Elegant Lord 11-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda Bolger IRE;
Jockey-Mr Philip Fenton; SP-3/1 Fav
3RD-Last Option 7-12-00 Owner-Robin Tate; Trainer-Robin Tate; Jockey-Mrs
Fiona Needham; SP-20/1 24 ran, Time-6m 50.7s; Dist-13, 1.75
1998-WINNER-EARTHMOVER 7-12-00 Owner-Roger Penny; Trainer-Richard Barber;
Jockey-Mr Joe Tizzard; SP-3/1
2ND-Stay In Touch 8-12-00 Owner-Barry Brazier; Trainer-John Costello
IRE; Jockey-Mr Dermot Costello; SP- 10/1
3RD-Flashing Steel 13-12-00 Owner-Charles Haughey; Trainer-John Mulhern
IRE; Jockey-Mr Philip Fenton;
11 ran, Time-6m 46s, Dist-18, 5 5/4 Fav Elegant Lord (5th)
1997-WINNER-FANTUS 10-12-00 Owner-John Keighley; Trainer-Richard Barber;
Jockey-Mr Tim Mitchell; SP-10/1
2ND-Cab On Target 11-12-00 Owner-N Hurst; Trainer-Mary Reveley; Jockey-Mr
Stephen Swiers; SP-4/1 Fav
3RD-What A Hand 9-12-00 Owner-F A Bonsal; Trainer-Edward O’Grady
IRE; Jockey-Mr Philip Fenton; SP- 6/1
18 ran, Time-6m 44.5s, Dist-1.75, 11
1996-WINNER-ELEGANT LORD 8-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda Bolger
IRE; Jockey-Mr Enda Bolger;
2ND-Cool Dawn 8-12-00 Owner-Dido Harding; Trainer-Robert Alner; Jockey-Miss
Dido Harding; SP-9/2
3RD-Kerry Orchid 8-12-00 Owner-Peter Curling; Trainer-Edward O’Grady
IRE; Jockey-Mr Philip Fenton; SP- 12/1
17 ran, Time-6m 51.0s, Dist-6,7
1995-WINNER-FANTUS 8-12-00 Owner-John Keighley; Trainer-Richard Barber;
Jockey-Miss Polly Curling; SP-8/1
2ND-Holland House 9-12-00 Owner-Edward Knight; Trainer-Patrick Chamings;
Jockey-Mr Charlie Vigors; SP- 50/1
3RD-Elegant Lord 7-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Enda Bolger IRE;
Jockey-Mr Tony Martin; SP-13/8 Fav
13 ran, Time-7m 7.7s, Dist-20, 8
CGA FOXHUNTER CHASE ROLL OF HONOUR
(Christie’s Foxhunter Chase 1979-2012, 1978-1974 no sponsor, 1973-72 ASun Alliance and London@ Foxhunter Challenge Cup)
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2012 Salsify 7-12-00 Mr Colman Sweeney Rodger Sweeney IRE Joan Sweeney 7/1 22
2011 Zemsky 8-12-00 Mr Derek O’Connor Ian Ferguson IRE Ronnie Bartlett 33/1 24
2010 Baby Run 10-12-00 Mr Sam Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies John Goodman 9/2F 24
2009 Cappa Bleu 7-12-00 Mr Richard Burton Sheila Crow William & Angela Rucker 11/2 24
2008 Amicelli 9-12-00 Mr Oliver Greenall Cherry Coward Lord Daresbury 33/1 23
2007 Drombeag 9-12-00 Mr J T McNamara Jonjo O’Neill J P McManus
2006 Whyso Mayo 9-12-00 Mr Damien Murphy Ray Hurley IRE Kathleen O’Driscoll
2005 Sleeping Night 9-12-00 Mr Colman Sweeney Paul Nicholls David & FA
Jackson 7/2 F 24
2004 Earthmover 13-12-00 Miss Rilly Goschen Paul Nicholls Roger Penny
2003 Kingscliff 6-12-00 Mr Richard Young Sally Alner Arnie Sendell 11/4F
2002 Last Option 10-12-00 Mrs Fiona Needham Robin Tate Robin Tate 20/1
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Cavalero 11-12-00 Mr Alex Charles-Jones John Manners John Manners
1999 Castle Mane 7-12-00 Mr Ben Pollock Caroline Bailey Charles Dixey
1998 Earthmover 7-12-00 Mr Joe Tizzard Richard Barber Roger Penny 3/1
1997 Fantus 10-12-00 Mr Tim Mitchell Richard Barber John Keighley 10/1
1996 Elegant Lord 8-12-00 Mr Enda Bolger Enda Bolger J P McManus 3/1F
1995 Fantus 8-12-00 Miss Polly Curling Richard Barber John Keighley 8/1
1994 Double Silk 10-12-00 Mr Ron Treloggen Reg Wilkins Reg Wilkins 2/5F
1993 Double Silk 9-12-00 Mr Ron Treloggen Reg Wilkins Reg Wilkins 12/1
1992 Rushing Wild 7-12-00 Mr Justin Farthing Richard Barber John Keighley
1991 Lovely Citizen 8-12-00 Mr Willie O’Sullivan Eugene M O’Sullivan
IRE Eugene J O’Sullivan 14/1 18
1990 Call Collect 9-12-00 Mr Ray Martin John Parkes James Clements 7/4F
1989 Three Counties 12-12-00 Miss Katie Rimell Mercy Rimell Katie Rimell
1988 Certain Light 10-12-00 Mr Paul Hacking Jean Campbell Jean Campbell
1987 Observe 11-12-00 Mr Charlie Brooks Fred Winter R Bott (Wigmore St)
Ltd 14/1 14
1986 Attitude Adjuster 6-12-00 Mr Ted Walsh Mouse Morris IRE Sue Magnier
1985 Elmboy 7-12-00 Mr Alan Hill Norman Mawle Norman Mawle 10/1 17
1984 Venture To Cognac 11-12-00 Mr Oliver Sherwood Fred Winter Nat Sherwood
1983 Eliogarty 8-12-00 Miss Caroline Beasley Barry Kelly IRE Caroline
Beasley 3/1F 16
1982 The Drunken Duck 9-12-00 Mr Brod Munro-Wilson Brod Munro-Wilson
Brod Munro-Wilson 12/1 19
1981 Grittar 8-12-00 Mr Dick Saunders Frank Gilman Frank Gilman 12/1
1980 Rolls Rambler 9-12-00 Mr Oliver Sherwood Fred Winter B Braziel 9/4
1979 Spartan Missile 7-12-00 Mr John Thorne John Thorne John Thorne 9/4F
1978 Timmie’s Battle 7-12-00 Mr Peter Greenall Arthur Stephenson
G Deverell 7/2 17
1977 Long Lane 9-11-11 Mr Richard Shepherd Richard Shepherd Richard Shepherd
1976 False Note 10-11-09 Mr Bryan Smart John Horton John Horton 11/4F
1975 Real Rascal 12-11-10 Mr George Hyatt Barbara Surman Barbara Surman
1974 Corrie Burn 8-12-00 Mr Ian Williams George Fairbairn Joanna Fairbairn
1973 Bullocks Horn 10-12-00 Lord Oaksey Bob Turnell Mrs E Barker 5/1
1972 Credit Call 8-12-00 Mr Chris Collins Arthur Stephenson Chris Collins
1971 Hope Again 9-11-07 Mr Richard Smith Denis Windell Denis Windell
1970 Highworth 11-11-07 Mr R H Woodhouse R H Woodhouse R H Woodhouse
1969 Queens Guide 8-11-07 Mr G Wade Willie Wade Willie Wade 10/1 10
1968 Bright Beach 8-11-11 Mr Charlie Macmillan Geordie Dun Geordie Dun
1967 Mulbarton 11-12-00 Mr Nick Gaselee I H Pattullo I H Pattullo EvsF
1966 Straight Lady 10-11-07 Mr Richard Shepherd William Shepherd William
Shepherd 100/8 21
1965 Woodside Terrace 12-11-07 Mr R Woodhouse R Woodhouse R Woodhouse
1964 Freddie 7-11-07 Mr Alan Mactaggart Reg Tweedie Reg Tweedie 1/3F
1963 Grand Morn II 9-12-00 Mr R Bloomfield G Shepheard G Shepheard 15/2
1962 Colledge Master12-12-00 Mr Laurie Morgan Laurie Morgan Laurie Morgan
1961 Colledge Master11-12-00 Mr Laurie Morgan Laurie Morgan Laurie Morgan
1960 Whinstone Hill 11-12-00 Mr Bobby Brewis Bobby Brewis Bobby Brewis
1959 Some Baby 10-12-00 Mr John Thorne Tim Rootes Tim Rootes 100/8 15
1958 Whinstone Hill 9-12-00 Mr Bobby Brewis Bobby Brewis Bobby Brewis
1957 The Callant 9-12-00 Mr John Scott-Aiton Stewart Wight C D Scott
1956 The Callant 8-12-00 Mr John Scott-Aiton Stewart Wight C D Scott
1955 Abandoned (snow)
1954 Happymint 9-12-00 Mr Danny Moralee Stewart Wight Danny Moralee 7/1
1953 DH Dunboy II 9-12-00 Mr Charlie Scott P Bruce Miss P Bruce 3/1F
1953 DH Merry 13-12-00 Mr Gay Kindersley Alec Kerr John Baillie 100/7
1952 Parasol II 7-12-00 Mr Ivor Kerwood A Walton A Walton 8/1 19
1951 Halloween 6-12-00 Mr Dickie Smalley Bill Wightman Captain Dick Smalley
1950 Greenwood 13-12-00 Mr John Stuart-Evans J T Evans J T Evans 100/7
1949 Abandoned (frost)
1948 State Control 8-12-00 Mr Harry Llewellyn Harry Llewellyn Harry Llewellyn
1947 Lucky Purchase 9-12-00 Mr John Nichols Sidney Banks Sidney Banks
1946 Iloilo 9-12-00 Mr Harry Freeman-Jackson Harry Freeman-Jackson Mrs
Harry Freeman-Jackson 6/1 16
CGA FOXHUNTER CHASE FACTS & FIGURES (SINCE 1946) BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Christie’s Foxhunter Chase is one of the oldest races at the Festival. The first running in 1904 was won by the 6/4 favourite Palmy Boy, owned and ridden by Mr J Widger. It is now one of the richest and most prestigious hunter chases of the season, worth a total of £35,000. Christie’s, the international auctioneers and valuation experts, backed the race for 34 years until 2012. This year’s renewal is sponsored by the Country Gentlemen’s Association (CGA).
The race is restricted to horses who have run in hunters’ chases in Great Britain or Ireland or horses who have won at point-to-point meetings, with a safety limit of 24. Double Silk beat just four rivals in 1993, while 38 horses lined up in 1948. A maximum field of 24 has started in eight of the past 10 renewals.
Since 1946 six horses have won the Foxhunter Chase twice although no horse has won it three times. The Callant won in 1956 and 1957, Whinstone Hill in 1958 and 1960, Colledge Master in 1961 and 1962, Double Silk in 1993 and 1994, Fantus in 1995 and 1997 and Earthmover in 1998 and 2004.
MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
The Christie’s Foxhunter Chase is the only race at The Festival open to trainers who are not full-time professionals or hold a permit to train their family’s horses. Richard Barber, brother of Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning owner Paul, is the leading trainer with four wins – Rushing Wild (1992), Fantus (1995 and 1997) and Earthmover in 1998. Paul Nicholls trained Earthmover for the horse’s second victory in 2004.
MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
The Christie’s Foxhunter Chase is one of three races exclusively for amateur riders at The Festival – the others are the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase and the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Chase. Nine jockeys have won “the Amateurs' Gold Cup” twice since 1946, the most recent being Colman Sweeney, who partnered Sleeping Night in 2005 and Salsify in 2012. No rider has won the race three times.
AGE OF WINNER
Three of the five 13-year-olds to have been successful at The Festival since 1946 have come in the Christie’s Foxhunter Chase - Earthmover in 2004, Merry, who dead-heated in 1953, and Greenwood in 1950. The other two 13-year-olds to have won were Approval in the 1959 Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle and Willie Wumpkins in the 1981 Pertemps Final. They are the oldest horses to have succeeded at The Festival in this period. Halloween (1951), Attitude Adjuster (1986) and Kingscliff (2003) are the three six-year-olds to win in the same period.
Freddie won at prohibitive odds of 1/3 in 1964, while Double Silk was sent off at odds of 2/5 for his second success in 1994. Woodside Terrace (1995) and Amicelli (2008) are the longest-priced winners since 1946, having both scored at 33/1.
There have been six Irish-trained winners since 1946 - Eliogarty (1983), Attitude Adjuster (1986), Lovely Citizen (1991), Whyso Mayo (2006), Zemsky (2011) and Salsify (2012).
DID YOU KNOW?
Caroline Beasley became the first female jockey to win a race at The Festival when successful on Eliogarty in the 1983 Christie’s Foxhunter Chase. Since then the race has been won four times by women - Katie Rimell on Three Counties in 1989, Polly Curling on Fantus in 1995, Fiona Needham in 2002 on Last Option and Rilly Goschen on Earthmover in 2004.
In addition to The Festival race, the CGA has taken ownership of the Hunter Chase 'Road to Cheltenham' by backing a total of 23 hunter chases run in Britain in the lead-up to the race at The Festival on Friday, March 15, each named the CGA Foxhunter Trial Chase.