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Author Archive for Chris Cook at Cheltenham

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‘It’s a joke! I’m in tears’: Paisley Park gives Andrew Gemmell first Festival win

• Favourite secures emotional victory for blind owner• Stayers’ Hurdle triumph comes 46 years after first visitAndrew Gemmell, the owner who has been blind since birth, got his cherished Festival winner 46 years after his first visit when Paisley Park …

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Sir Anthony McCoy hits out over ‘disgraceful’ ban on Cheltenham jockey

• McCoy: ‘I’m embarrassed for the BHA’• Stewards punished three riders after National Hunt ChaseSir Anthony McCoy spoke of his disgust with racing’s ruling body during an ITV broadcast from the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday, expressing in vivid term…

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Altior equals world record in Champion Chase at Cheltenham Festival

• Hot favourite equals record of consecutive jump race wins• Winner not at best after mistake at water jumpAltior gave his supporters a couple of frights but eventually proved to be the certainty he was supposed to be and won his second Queen Mother Ch…

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Benie Des Dieux uncanny repeat of Cheltenham history stuns Rich Ricci

• Mare’s fall an almost eerie echo of same race in 2015• Ricci interviewed on TV about BetBright controversyRich Ricci appeared a broken man in the aftermath of the Mares Hurdle, when his hopes of victory were dashed at the final flight for the second …

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Horse dies and three jockeys suspended in Cheltenham Festival drama

• Future of National Hunt Chase called into question• Troubling scenes after final race on opening dayThe last race on day one at the Festival turned into a very troubling spectacle, with twice as many fallers as finishers, and it ended with the death …

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Espoir D’Allen shock winner of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival

• Outsider makes light work of testing conditions• Reigning champion hurdler Buveur D’Air fallsEspoir D’Allen was a surprising but emphatic winner of a drama-filled Champion Hurdle in which Buveur D’Air, winner for the last two years, was an early fall…

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Trainer Nicky Henderson happy with Might Bite’s pre-Cheltenham schooling

• Gold Cup hopeful jumps a total of 10 fences• Henderson says: ‘It’s all gone to plan. He jumped beautifully’Might Bite came through a pre-Cheltenham schooling session in fine style here on Sunday morning, jumping a total of 10 fences under Nico de Boi…

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Paisley Park gives Emma Lavelle that Cheltenham Festival fervour

• Odds cut for Stayers’ after 12-length win in Cleeve Hurdle• Owner Andrew Gemmell, a Prince fan, says: ‘Let’s go crazy’Paisley Park was a hugely popular winner of the Cleeve Hurdle and surely no horse will go into March’s Festival here with a greater …

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Paul Nicholls defends Cheltenham after Rooneys decide to shun track

• Move ‘a bit of a kick in the teeth’ for course officials • Like a footballer not wanting to play at Wembley, Nicholls saysA vigorous defence of Cheltenham racecourse, widely regarded as the home of steeplechasing, was made by racing insiders on Tuesd…

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BHA forced to row back on chief executive’s comments on whip use

• Nick Rust commented on discussions not yet taken place• The New One retires as Brain Power wins the dayRacing’s ruling body found itself in the embarrassing position of having to row back on comments made this week by its own chief executive, Nick Ru…

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Talking Horses: Jockeys take issue with BHA review into fatalities

As racing professionals gathered at the track at the centre of the review, a number criticised some of the recommendationsTensions within the racing industry began to surface on Friday in response to the bulky review into equine fatalities published th…

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Lalor romps home at Cheltenham to hand Kayley Woollacott ‘massive day’

• Lalor’s odds cut for Cheltenham Festival Arkle Trophy• Child-friendly chaser rewards Twitter followersLalor, the horse who is helping a stable cope with bereavement, looks like being every bit as good over fences as was hoped and is the second-favour…

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British Horseracing Authority may use barriers to keep Irish raiders in check

• Pressure on Turf Club over dope-testing and handicapping• Measures planned as Irish dominate Cheltenham FestivalAn unspecified form of protectionism might form part of the future of British horse racing after Brexit, it has been suggested during anot…

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Native River leads all the way to win Gold Cup at Cheltenham Festival

• Champion jockey Richard Johnson rides 5-1 winner• Favourite Might Bite finishes a brave runner-upNative River has become the splendidly brave winner of a Cheltenham Gold Cup which, despite 15 runners, was a duel from the outset between the gallant ch…

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Cheltenham Gold Cup day tips: Might Bite can strike it big

• Prodigious steeplechaser will take some stopping• Meri Devie, Ruby Walsh’s intended, the pick for County HurdleIf you back Might Bite (3.30) for this Cheltenham Gold Cup, then of course you must fear the risk of him wandering around on the run-in lik…

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Cheltenham Festival third day tips: Bacardys the toast in Stayers’

• Ruby Walsh may miss out on big-race double• West Wizard worth a punt at tasty 100-1 oddsIt will not improve Ruby Walsh’s mood if the horses he was booked to ride contrive to win both feature events on the third day at this Cheltenham Festival. But th…

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Samcro aiming for bigger Cheltenham prizes after living up to Festival hype

• Brilliant winner could have 2020 Gold Cup in his sights• Michael O’Leary starts to believe after Ballymore victorySamcro is not the second coming of Jesus Christ, we have been assured by his owner, but, for many punters here, he will do until Jesus C…

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It’s hell for Cheltenham bookies as fans and favourites make light of wet | Chris Cook

There was no hiding place for the layers on day one of the Festival as, despite the soggy conditions, punters cashed in and had a day to remember“When it’s wet, don’t bet,” says the old maxim, used by many a gnarled punter to warn youngsters against ra…

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Buveur D’Air wins Champion Hurdle after thrilling battle with Melon

• Winner follows up last year’s victory for Nicky Henderson• Former winner Faugheen well beaten after taking early leadBuveur D’Air won his second Champion Hurdle as the first day of the Cheltenham Festival turned into a fine one for favourite-backers….

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Simon Claisse believes Cheltenham going could be softer than usual

• Snow is not expected to pose threat to Festival’s Tuesday start• Claisse: ‘We have to be careful on the turf as the thaw sets in’It was time to break out the shovels on Saturday here as racecourse staff resorted to old-fashioned methods to ensure a c…