The name of Taaffe, forever associated with the great Arkle, joined
the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup roll of honour when Kicking
King ran out a brilliant five-length winner
ultimate prize. Kicking King was announced an absentee from the big
race just over a fortnight ago after a dirty scope and re-entered
the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup pciture a few days later.
Inglis Drever, who was brought off the subs bench to stand in for
stable-star Royal Rosa in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, proved himself
a star in his own right when eclipsing the mighty Baracouda in
the Grade 1 feature to provide Graham Lee, Howard Johnson and owners
Andrea and Graham Wylie with a third winner at the 2005 Festival.
Barry Geraghty, who quite rightly milked every last drop out of the
amazing reception which greeted Moscow Flyer in the winner’s
enclosure after his brilliant triumph in the Queen Mother Chase,
had no hesitation in reaffirming that "he is the best that I have
Smurfit Champion hurdler Hardy Eustace retained
his crown with a brilliant start-to-finish success to hold off
fellow Irish challengers Harchibald and Brave Inca by a neck and
the same in the opening day showpiece.
Graham Lee has
won Thursday’s Guinness
Festival Award which
honours the individual who is considered to have made the most
outstanding contribution in the three championship races on each
day of The Festival. Howard Johnson takes the Daily
Telegraph Trophy for leading trainer by virtue of earning more prize money.
Best Mate joined racing's greats when he clung on to win
an exciting Cheltenham Gold Cup for the third successive year in
2004. Henrietta Knight's brilliant nine-year-old emulated the feat
the legendary Arkle - but he had to dig very deep to hold off Sir
Rembrandt and Harbour Pilot. Best Mate, trained by Henrietta Knight
and ridden by Jim Culloty, hit the front approaching the final
fence and held on up the hill
to justify odds of 8-11.
Gift holds off the challenge of two-time winner Baracouda to
win the Bonusprint Stayers' Hurdle. Paul
Nicholls regained the lead in the trainers' championship with
a 599-1 treble on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival. Made
In Japan (20-1) landed the JCB Triumph Hurdle in gritty
fashion on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival.
For three extraordinary
days in the middle of March the National Hunt racing community from
all around the world converges on the elegant spa town of Cheltenham.
The twenty races are the most hotly contested of the entire racing
calendar with more than £2 million in prize money and £20
million in bets riding on these Championships.