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Cheltenham News 15th - 18th March 2005

Cheltenham 2005

Cheltenham 2005 / news/

Bradburne Hoping For More Cheltenham Festival Success

Mark Bradburne, seeking his third success at The Festival, is looking forward to riding at the event again this year.

The 28-year-old Scotsman’s initial win came while he was an amateur, partnering Relaxation to victory for trainer Henry Daly in the four-mile National Hunt Chase in 2000. It was his first ride for Daly and Relaxation, an eight-year-old, won at 8/1 by six lengths in a course record time of 8 min 0.6 secs.

Bradburne, whose mother is Fife trainer Sue Bradburne, turned professional in the August of 2000 when on the 59-winner mark - he also rode on the Flat as part of the European FEGENTRI series which he won in 1999.

His second victory at The Festival came on 8/1 chance Palarshan, also for Daly, in the 2003 Grand Annual Handicap Chase.

Looking ahead to this year’s Festival in March, the first over four days, Bradburne commented: "Basically, it’s up in the air at moment what I will be riding at this year’s Festival.

"There are a few who I might get the chance to ride for Mr Daly, depending on Richard Johnson’s availability - hopefully he will be riding something else!

"One potential ride is Palarshan. He is a previous Festival winner and ran well when third in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Cheltenham last time out.

"I’m not sure what his best trip is these days, but I suppose the Mildmay of Flete Handicap Chase would probably be his aim.

"There are plenty of people that I ride for talking about taking horses to Cheltenham who wouldn’t appear to have great chances at this stage but, come the day, the races often look very different."

Looking back on his two previous Cheltenham Festival successes, the rider added: "My wins on Relaxation and Palarshan stand out as the highlights of my career so far.

"Finishing third in the Grand National on Lord Atterbury was also a tremendous thrill and it was great to win a Grade One race at Ascot on Hand Inn Hand."

Bradburne married former jockey Gee Armytage in July and the couple hold a unique place in Cheltenham history as both have won twice at The Festival.

Gee’s victories came in 1987 when she was amateur, though she turned professional at the end of that year.

She was not the first woman rider to triumph at The Festival - that distinction went to Caroline Beasley in 1983. But, when she won on Gee-A in the Mildmay Of Flete, she became the first woman to succeed against professional jockeys at The Festival. Her other victory was on The Ellier in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Amateur Riders Handicap Chase.

Bradburne joked: "We’ve both ridden two winners at The Festival so I’m trying to beat her!

"Fortunately, at least she can’t beat me now! However, she rode both her winners in the same year and only lost out, on placed horses, on being leader rider at the meeting, so she’s got one over me there!"

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