|Grade 1, Cheltenham 15:30
2m 87y, Class 1
|Tuesday 15th March 2016|
1 Annie Power 5/2 F
2 My Tent Or Yours 10/1
3 Nichols Canyon 15/2
NR: Old Guard
12 ran Distances: 4½l, hd, 4l
TIME 3m 45.10s (fast by 5.90s)
Annie Power proves a supersub for Willie Mullins and wins the Champion Hurdle
Annie Power made amends for her fall at the final flight in last year's OLBG Mares' Hurdle when running away with the Stan James Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham this afternoon, giving owner Susannah Ricci, trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh a 3.38/1 double on the card.
The 5/2 favourite made most of the running and saw off her rivals one by one with a commanding performance, powering up the hill to record a four and a half length victory from 10/1 shot My Tent Or Yours.
Annie Power clocked a time of 3 minutes 45.10 seconds which is a course record for the two mile trip. The previous record stood at 3 minutes 45.25 which was recorded by Jezki in the Stan James Champion Hurdle in 2014. She becomes the fourth mare ever to win the Stan James Champion Hurdle and the first since Flakey Dove, ridden by Mark Dwyer, in 1994.
Rich Ricci, husband of the winning owner, was overcome by emotion after the race and fought back the tears as he tried to convey just how much this victory meant to him. The eight-year-old was giving the Riccis their 10th success at The Festival.
"It's just spectacular," said Ricci. "No horse deserves to win here - but she does really! It's brilliant! Sport offers such a chance for redemption and it's fantastic to see. I'm happy for the horse and just happy for everyone."
Mullins was also delighted after the race as it not only gave him his 43rd Festival winner, but he also emulated his father Paddy in training a mare to win the Stan James Champion Hurdle. Dawn Run won the race back in 1984 for Mullins senior.
"I've just seen Rich in tears and that's good - that's what it's all about," said Mullins. "It's great he's able to enjoy it like that with all the horses he has. I thought she was fantastic. It's a super performance from the mare to come back like that with only one run under her belt. She bossed the race but that was Ruby's plan. He told me a fortnight ago what he was going to do and it's worked out like that.
"We weren't sure if there was pace coming from anywhere else but after the second hurdle I was happy. I was just worried would she run up to expectations but she has certainly exceeded my expectations. It's good that she's landed one for herself and for Rich as well. It was great to get on the board with Douvan but this is something special. I thought she might be able to win but I didn't think she'd be able to do it like that. It was a huge performance."
Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
£436,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 87y, Class 1
Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
|Pos||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||Annie Power (IRE) 5/2f||R Walsh
|W P Mullins||8|
|2nd||4½||My Tent Or Yours (IRE) 10/1||B J Geraghty
|N J Henderson||9|
|3rd||hd||Nichols Canyon 15/2||P Townend
|W P Mullins||6|
|4th||4||The New One (IRE) 7/2||Sam Twiston-Davies
|N A Twiston-Davies||8|
|5th||1||Top Notch (FR) 14/1||D A Jacob
|N J Henderson||5|
|6th||9||Identity Thief (IRE) 8/1||B J Cooper
|H de Bromhead||6|
|7th||1¼||Lil Rockerfeller (USA) 20/1||Trevor Whelan
|N B King||5|
|8th||2¾||Sign Of A Victory (IRE) 66/1||A Tinkler
|N J Henderson||7|
|9th||nk||Camping Ground (FR) 16/1||L P Aspell
|10th||28||Hargam (FR) 16/1||M P Walsh
|N J Henderson||5|
|PU||Peace And Co (FR) 16/1||Nico de Boinville
|N J Henderson||5|
|PU||Sempre Medici (FR) 16/1||D J Mullins
|W P Mullins||6|
|NR||Old Guard 20/1||Non Runner
|P F Nicholls||5|
GERAGHTY IMPRESSED WITH MY TENT
Barry Geraghty was delighted with My Tent Of Yours' second, especially since the horse had not been seen on a racecourse for 703 days.
The Nicky Henderson-trained nine-year-old was able to keep tabs on the eventual winner Annie Power throughout the race, but as they came into the straight Annie Power was able to pull clear and win by four and a half lengths. My Tent Of Yours did well to fight off another Willie Mullins-trained runner, Nichols Canyon, by a head.
Geraghty said: "No, no it had not been ideal (not having a run beforehand), but Nicky (Henderson) had him in good shape.
"The mare was very good and was a very strong winner and My Tent Or Yours ran a great race on his comeback so we are very pleased."
The jockey continued: "Yes I was surprised he ran so well and it was great to see it so I'm delighted with him."
In the early days of his career, the son of Desert Prince had been known to race keenly, but Geraghty was impressed with how well he relaxed: "He settled nicely and did everything so well no excuses. The winner was just very, very good and it was really a case of what she found, but I was just very pleased."
Nicky Henderson, trainer of My Tent Or Yours and four others in the race, commented: "It has been well documented that it was a fair old while since My Tent Or Yours had seen a racecourse.
"He has not lost the will-power and his jumping is still so slick - he loved it. He settled really well with all the gadgets on him.
"It was a pity he could not have had a comeback earlier in the year but he has still run a fantastic race.
"Top Notch (fifth) ran a great race while Hargam was off the bridle a long way out but Sign Of A Victory (eighth) ran a good race, while Peace And Co was disappointing."
CHAMPION HURDLE PREVIOUS RESULTS
2015-FAUGHEEN 7-11-10 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-4/5 Fav
2ND-Arctic Fire 6-11-10 Owner-Wicklow Bloodstock Limited; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Danny Mullins; SP-20/1
3RD-Hurricane Fly 11-11-10 Owner-George Creighton & Rose Boyd; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend ; SP-8/1
8 ran, Time-3m 50.90s; Dist-11⁄2, 5
2014-WINNER-JEZKI 6-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jessica Harrington IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-9/1
2ND-My Tent Or Yours 7-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-A P McCoy; SP-3/1
3RD-The New One 6-11-10 Owner-Sarah Such; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Sam Twiston-Davies; SP-10/3
9 ran, Time-3m 45.25s (new record); Dist-nk, 2½ 11/4 Fav Hurricane Fly (4th)
2013-WINNER- HURRICANE FLY 9-11-10 Owner-George Creighton & Rose Boyd; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-13/8 Fav
2ND-Rock On Ruby 8-11-10 Owner-The Festival Goers; Trainer-Harry Fry; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-11/2
3RD-Countrywide Flame 5-11-10 Owner-Estio Pinnacle Racing; Trainer-John Quinn; Jockey-Denis O’Regan; SP-16/1
9 ran, Time-3m 59.35s; Dist-2½, 1¾
2012-WINNER-ROCK ON RUBY 7-11-10 Owner-The Festival Goers; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-11/1
2ND-Overturn 8-11-10 Owner-Tim Leslie; Trainer-Donald McCain; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-20/1
3RD-Hurricane Fly 8-11-10 Owner-George Creighton & Rose Boyd; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-4/6 Fav
10 ran, Time-3m 50.10s; Dist 3¾, 1¾
2011-WINNER-HURRICANE FLY 7-11-10 Owner-George Creighton & Mrs Rose Boyd; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/4 Fav
2ND-Peddlers Cross 6-11-10 Owner-Tim Leslie; Trainer-Donald McCain; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-9/2
3RD-Oscar Whisky 6-11-10 Owner- Walters Plant Hire Ltd; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-7/1
11 ran, Time-3m 53.71s; Dist 11⁄4 , 5
2010-WINNER-BINOCULAR 6-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-A P McCoy; SP-9/1
2ND-Khyber Kim 8-11-10 Owner-Caroline Mould; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-7/1
3RD-Zaynar 5-11-10 Owner- Men In Our Position; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Andrew Tinkler; SP-15/2
12 ran, Time-3m 53.80s; Dist-3½, 6 11/4 Fav Go Native (10th)
2009-WINNER-PUNJABI 6-11-10 Owner-Raymond Tooth; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-22/1
2ND-Celestial Halo 5-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-17/2
3RD-Binocular 5-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-6/4 Fav
23 ran, Time-4m 0.90s; Dist- nk, hd
2008-WINNER-KATCHIT 5-11-10 Owner-D S J P Syndicate; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-10/1
2ND-Osana 6-11-10 Owner-Thomas Barr; Trainer-David Pipe; Jockey-Tom Scudamore; SP-9/2
3RD-Punjabi 5-11-10 Owner-Raymond Tooth; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-25/1
15 ran, Time-4m 8.10s; Dist-1, 5 2/1 Fav Sizing Europe (14th)
2007-WINNER-SUBLIMITY 7-11-10 Owner-Bill Hennessy; Trainer-John Carr IRE; Jockey-Philip Carberry; SP-16/1
2ND-Brave Inca 9-11-10 Owner-Novices Syndicate; Trainer-Colm Murphy IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/2
3RD-Afsoun 5-11-10 Owner-Trevor Hemmings; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-28/1
10 ran, Time-3m 55.70s; Dist-3, nk 6/4 Fav Detroit City (6th)
2006-WINNER-BRAVE INCA 8-11-10 Owner-Novices Syndicate; Trainer-Colm Murphy IRE; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-7/4 Fav
2ND-Macs Joy 7-11-10 Owner-Mac’s J Racing Syndicate; Trainer-Jessica Harrington IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-13/2
3RD-Hardy Eustace 9-11-10 Owner-Lar Byrne; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-11/2
18 ran. Time-3m 50.00s; Dist-1, 3½
2005-WINNER-HARDY EUSTACE 8-11-10 Owner-Lar Byrne; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-
7/2 Jt Fav
2ND-Harchibald 6-11-10 Owner-Des Sharkey; Trainer-Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-7/1
3RD-Brave Inca 7-11-10 Owner-Novices Syndicate; Trainer-Colm Murphy IRE; Jockey-Barry Cash; SP-10/1
14 ran, Time-3m 51.50s; Dist-nk, nk 7/2 Jt Fav Back In Front (9th)
2004-WINNER-HARDY EUSTACE 7-11-10 Owner-Lar Byrne; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-33/1
2ND-Rooster Booster 10-11-10 Owner-Terry Warner; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-11/8 Fav
3RD-Intersky Falcon 7-11-10 Owner-Interskyracing.com & Jacqui O’Neill; Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Liam Cooper; SP-8/1
14 ran, Time-3m 54.50s; Dist-5, 4
2003-WINNER-ROOSTER BOOSTER 9-12-00 Owner-Terry Warner; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-9/2
2ND-Westender 7-12-00 Owner-Matt Archer & Jean Broadhurst; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Rodi Greene; SP-33/1
3RD-Rhinestone Cowboy 7-12-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-5/2
Fav 17 ran, Time-3m 54.70s; Dist-11, 3
2002-WINNER-HORS LA LOI III 7-12-00 Owner-Paul Green; Trainer-James Fanshawe; Jockey-Dean Gallagher; SP-10/1
2ND-Marble Arch 6-12-00 Owner-Martin Wilson, Rory Sweet and Mary Wilson; Trainer-Hughie Morrison; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-25/1
3RD-Bilboa 5-11-09 Owner-Jorg Vasicek; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Thierry Doumen; SP-14/1
15 ran, Time-3m 53.80s; Dist- 3, ½ 2/1 Fav Istabraq (pu)
2000-WINNER-ISTABRAQ 8-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-8/15 Fav
2ND-Hors La Loi III 5-12-00 Owner-Paul Green; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Dean Gallagher; SP-11/1
3RD-Blue Royal 5-12-00 Owner-Lynn Wilson; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-16/1
12 ran, Time-3m 48.10s; Dist-4, nk
1999-WINNER-ISTABRAQ 7-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-4/9 Fav
2ND-Theatreworld 7-12-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Tommy Treacy; SP-16/1 3RD-French Holly 8-12-00 Owner-Kieran Flood; Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Andrew Thornton; SP-11/2
14 ran, Time 3m 56.7s; Dist-3½, 2½
1998-WINNER-ISTABRAQ 6-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-3/1 Fav
2ND-Theatreworld 6-12-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Tommy Treacy; SP-20/1
3RD-I’m Supposin 6-12-00 Owner-Nicholas Cooper; Trainer-Richard Rowe; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-6/1
18 ran, Time 3m 49.1s; Dist-12, 1
1997-WINNER-MAKE A STAND 6-12-00 Owner-Peter Deal; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-7/1
2ND-Theatreworld 5-12-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-33/1
3RD-Space Trucker 6-12-00 Owner-Elaine Queally; Trainer-Jessica Harrington IRE; Jockey-John Shortt; SP-9/2
17 ran, Time-3m 48.4s, Dist-5, ¾ 7/2 Fav Large Action (pu)
1996-WINNER-COLLIER BAY 6-12-00 Owner-Wally Sturt; Trainer-Jim Old; Jockey-Graham Bradley; SP-9/1
2ND-Alderbrook 7-12-00 Owner-Ernie Pick; Trainer-Kim Bailey; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-10/11 Fav
3RD-Pridwell 6-12-00 Owner-Jones, Berstock and Fleet Partnership; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Chris Maude;
SP-33/1 16 ran, Time-3m 59.0s, Dist-2½, 6
1995-WINNER-ALDERBROOK 6-12-00 Owner-Ernie Pick; Trainer-Kim Bailey; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-11/2
2ND-Large Action 7-12-00 Owner-Brian Stewart-Brown; Trainer-Oliver Sherwood; Jockey-Jamie Osborne; SP-4/1 Jt Fav
3RD-Danoli 7-12-00 Owner-Dan O’Neill; Trainer-Tom Foley IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-4/1 Jt Fav
14 ran, Time-4m 03.1s, Dist-5, 2