2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup

With their head-to-head score tied at one apiece, the 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup was billed as the latest rematch between Kauto Star and Denman, who had won the last three renewals of the ‘Blue Riband’ event between them. Although in different ownership the two main protagonists were saddled by reigning champion trainer Paul Nicholls and, unsurprisingly, were sent off 8/11 favourite and 4/1 favourite, respectively. Third choice in the betting market, at 7/1, was Imperial Commander, who had been involved in a sustained duel with Kauto Star when beaten by the minimum margin in the Betfair Chase at Haydock the previous November, but had finished 64 lengths behind the same horse in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, after failing to recover from a mistake at the second fence.

By contrast, in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, it was the reigning champion, Kauto Star, who suffered from jumping frailties. What jockey Ruby Walsh described as ‘a bad mistake’ before halfway knocked Kauto Star out of position and thereafter he was always fighting a losing battle, finally parting company with Walsh at the infamous fourth-last fence on the New Course when struggling in fifth place. Stable companion Denman, ridden by A.P. McCoy, raced prominently throughout and was still in the lead on the approach to second-last fence. However, even ‘The Tank’, as Denman was affectionately known, had no answer when tackled by Imperial Commander at the penultimate obstacle.

Ridden by Paddy Brennan, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained nine-year-old was driven clear in the closing stages to win by 7 lengths, going away from his nearest pursuer, Denman, who finished tired, but remained well clear of the third horse. Mon Mome, winner of the Grand National in 2009, was tailed off at one stage, but made relentless progress from the second-last fence to snatch the minor placing in the dying strides at odds of 50/1.

Tiger Roll

Of course, Tiger Roll became a household name when, in April, 2019, he became the first horse since the legendary Red Rum, in 1974, to record back-to-back victories in the Grand National. However, even before his first attempt in the Aintree marathon in 2018, Tiger Roll had made a name for himself at the Cheltenham Festival. In 2014, he won the Grade One Triumph Hurdle over 2 miles and 79 yards on the New Course at Prestbury Park, in 2016, after being switched to steeplechasing, he won the National Hunt Challenge Cup over 3 miles 7 furlongs and 147 yards on the Old Course and, in 2018, he won the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase over 3 miles 6 furlongs on the Cross Country Course. In 2019, Tiger Roll confirmed himself as a true Cheltenham Festival ‘legend’ when making light of a 9lb rise in the weights to win the same race again, by 22 lengths from the 2016 winner, Josies Orders.

Interestingly, Tiger Roll was originally owned by Sheikh Mohammed, but has only ever contested one Flat race – a 2-mile maiden race at Dundalk, in which he finished second – and, even then, only as a six-year-old, in 2016, by which time he had long been in the care of his current trainer, Gordon Elliot. He was bought by Michael O’Leary, the owner of Gigginstown House Stud, after making a winning debut for his previous trainer, Nigel Hawke, and was sent to Elliott as a likely contender for the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Tiger Roll exceeded expectations by not only contesting, but winning, the Triumph Hurdle on just his second start for his new connections.

The rest, as they say, is history. Despite being ‘a little rat of a thing’, according to his owner – Tiger Roll is diminutive, especially for a steeplechaser, at fewer than 16 hands – after a spell in the doldrums, the Authorized gelding found fame over the larger obstacles and, at least so far, has never fallen. Admirable though Tiger Roll is, O’Leary is on the record as saying that he is very unlikely to attempt to emulate Red Rum by running in the Grand National again in 2020. His ‘swansong’ may well be the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, once again, in which victory would be his fifth at the Cheltenham Festival.

2019 Cheltenham Festival Results

Tuesday, March 13 – – – Wed | Thu | Fri

1.30pm SkyBet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
(Grade One) 2m 87y £125,000
1 Klassical Dream 6/1
2 Thomas Darby 28/1
3 Itchy Feet 25/1
4 Fakir D’Oudairies 9/2JF
16 ran

2.10pm Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase
(Grade One) 1m 7f £175,000
1 Duc Des Genievres 5/1
2 Us And Them 14/1
3 Articulum 25/1
12 ran

2.50pm Ultima Handicap Chase
(Grade Three) 3m abt 1f £110,000
1 Beware The Bear 10/1
2 Vintage Clouds 16/1
3 Lake View Lad 25/1
4 Big River 28/1
24 ran

3.30pm Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
(Grade One) 2m 87y £450,000
1 Espoir D’Allen 16/1
2 Melon 20/1
3 Silver Streak 80/1
10 ran

4.10pm OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
(Grade Two) 2m 3f 200y £120,000
1 Roksana 10/1
2 Stormy Ireland 7/1
3 Good Thyne Tara 25/1
14 ran

4.50pm Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase
(Listed) 2m 4f 44y 110y £70,000
1 A Plus Tard 5/1F
2 Tower Bridge 6/1
3 Ben Dundee 33/1
4 The Russian Doyen 20/1
20 ran

5.30pm National Hunt Chase
(Amateurs) 3m 7f 147y £125,000
1 Le Breuil 14/1
2 Discorama 9/2
3 Jerrysback 16/1
18 ran

Wednesday, March 13 – – – Tue | Thu | Fri

1.30pm Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
(Grade One) 2m 5f £125,000
1 City Island 8/1
2 Champ 9/2
3 Bright Forecast 25/1
16 ran

2.10pm RSA Chase
(Grade One) 3m 80y £175,000
1 Topofthegame 4/1
2 Santini 3/1
3 Delta Work 15/8F
12 ran

2.50pm Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
(Grade Three) 2m 5f £100,000
1 William Henry 28/1
2 Wicklow Brave 28/1
3 Ballyandy 14/1
4 Brio Conti 10/1
5 Canardier 14/1
25 ran

3.30pm BetWay Queen Mother Champion Chase
(Grade One) 1m 7f 99y £400,000
1 Altior 4/11F
2 Politologue 11/1
3 Sceau Royal 16/1
9 ran

4.10pm Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase
(Handicap) 3m 6f 37y £65,000
1 Tiger Roll 5/4F
2 Josies Orders 15/2
3 Urgent De Gregaine 17/2
15 ran

4.50pm Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
(Grade Three) 2m 87y £80,000
1 Band of Outlaws 7/2F
2 Coko Beach 14/1
3 Ciel De Neige 17/2
4 King D’Argent 25/1
21 ran

5.30pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper
(Grade One) 2m 87y £75,000
1 Envoi Allen 2/1F
2 Blue Sari 7/2
3 Thyme Hill 20/1
14 ran

Thursday, March 14 – – – Tue | Wed | Fri

1.30pm JLT Novices’ Chase
(Grade One) 2m 3f 166y £150,000
1 Defi Du Seuil 3/1F
2 Lostintranslation 4/1
3 Mengli Khan 9/1
10 ran

2.10pm Pertemps Network Final
(Listed Race) 2m 7f 213y £100,000
1 Sire Du Berlais 4/1F
2 Tobefair 40/1
3 Not Many Left 16/1
4 Cuneo 12/1
24 ran

2.50pm Ryanair Chase
(Grade One) 2m 4f 127y £350,000
1 Frodon 9/2
2 Aso 33/1
3 Road To Respect 9/2
12 ran

3.30pm Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle
(Grade One) 2m 7f 213y £325,000
1 Paisley Park 11/8F
2 Sam Spinner 33/1
3 Faugheen 4/1
4 Bapaume 16/1
18 ran

4.10pm Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate
(Grade Three) 2m 4f 127y £110,000
1 Eglantine Du Seuil 50/1
2 Concertista 66/1
3 Tintangle 40/1
4 Black Tears 25/1
22 ran

4.50pm Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
(Grade 2) 2m 179y £90,000
1 Siruh Du Lac 9/2
2 Janika 3/1F
3 Spiritofthegames 6/1
4 Eamon An Cnoic 10/1
22 ran

5.30pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase
(Amateurs) 3m 2f £70,000
1 Any Second Now 6/1
2 Kilfilum Cross 7/1
3 The Young Master 22/1
4 Crievehill 40/1
23 ran

Friday, March 14 – – – Tue | Wed | Thu

1.30pm JCB Triumph Hurdle Race
(Grade One) 2m 139y £125,000
1 Pentland Hills 20/1
2 Coeur Sublime 20/1
3 Gardens of Babylon 9/1
14 ran

2.10pm Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle
(Grade Three) 2m 179y £100,000
1 Ch’tibello 12/1
2 We Have A Dream 14/1
3 Countister 18/1
4 Whiskey Sour 5/1F
24 ran

2.50pm Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
(Grade One) 2m 7f 213y £125,000
1 Minella Indo 50/1
2 Commander Of Fleet 4/1F
3 Allaho 8/1
4 Dickie Diver 14/1
20 ran

3.30pm Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup
(Chase) (Grade One) 3m 2f 70yds £625,000
1 Al Boum Photo 12/1
2 Anibale Fly 22/1
3 Bristol De Mai 18/1
16 ran

4.10pm St James’s Place Foxhunter Steeplechase
(Amateurs) 3m 2f 70yds £45,000
1 Hazel Hill 7/2F
2 Shantou Flyer 7/1
3 Top Wood 33/1
24 ran

4.50pm Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase
(Handicap) (Grade Three) 2m 62yds £110,000
1 Croco Bay 66/1
2 Bun Doran 11/1
3 Brelan D’As 8/1
4 Forest Bihan 33/1
19 ran

5.30pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
2m 4f 56yds £70,000
1 Early Doors 5/1
2 Dallas Des Pictons 7/2F
3 Defi Bleu 14/1
4 Champagne Court 14/1
24 ran

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