Cheltenham Memories: Huge gambles galore in our next edition
That first Cheltenham roar as the runners for the 2015 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle set off up the home straight may be getting even closer, but we are still looking back on the awesome memories of the Festival from over the years.
We’ve already brought you numbers 21 to 25 in our countdown, so now it’s time for our next instalment.
So with plenty major gambles landed, here are the horses that made the slots from 16 to 20.
20.Our Conor Triumphs in style – 2013
Rarely has the Triumph hurdle been won in such devastating fashion that was exuded by Dessie Hughes’ Our Conor back in 2013.
Turning in for home Bryan Cooper was cheekily glancing behind at the chasing pack, probably all too aware of the amount of horse left under him.
And as the hill approached, the pair weren’t for catching, landing the jockey his biggest success to date.
19. Dunguib, from hero to villain in one year – 2009-10
After trouncing the field in the 2009 Champion Bumper, Dunguib was seen as an opening day banker for the following year’s curtain raiser.
Backed in to 4/5f with a swathe of Irish cash predicting an Emerald Isle whitewash on the first day of the 2010, he was set to cost the bookies a reported £10m if claiming back-to-back Festival victories.
But, unfortunately for the masses Philip Fenton’s charge could only manage third, leaving backers clambering to save their punting week as soon as it had begun.
- 18. Monsignor machine-like to land monster gamble – 2000
If this year’s Champion Hurdle favourite Faugheen is described as a ‘machine’, then who knows what Monsignor could have been had injury not curtailed his career.
Backed into 5/4f for the Royal & Sunalliance Novices’ Hurdle (now the Neptune), Norman Williamson anchored his mount at the rear of the field for the early stages of the race.
But as the contest developed, he began slicing through the pack, taking the lead coming down the hill approaching two-out.
From then on, nothing was going to catch the six-year-old, as he triumphed in record time, nearly three seconds quicker than Faugheen in 2014.
17. Newmill repays Pricewise followers – 2006
The Racing Post’s Pricewise has a legion of loyal followers, and at times it’s easy to see why.
When he put up 40/1 shot Newmill for a Champion Chase that included the likes of defending champ Moscow Flyer and a then relatively underappreciated Kauto Star it could have been seen as a bit of a blind punt.
But with his followers piling in, John Joseph Murphy’s horse was sent off at 16/1 – still relatively unfancied – but he certainly didn’t disappoint.
Leading from the front, the eight-year-old barely saw another horse as he kept on strongly up the run in producing a stunning 9l victory.
- 16. AP Makes a Stand in Champion Hurdle – 1997
A certain AP makes his second appearance on his countdown, and you can bet your bottom dollar it won’t be his last.
But we go all the way back to 1997 to capture the Champ’s first Festival victory aboard Make a Stand.
A relatively fresh-faced McCoy used his initiative with aplomb, making all the running, pulling out a big lead for much of the race.
And when it mattered, that famous drive of his, along with a willing attitude from his equine partner was enough to swat away the chasing pack, and secure a momentous Champion Hurdle success.
All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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