Race 4 n r.jpg



Bobs Worth wins the Cheltenham Gold Cup;

the first horse since Flyingbolt to win three different

Cheltenham Festival races in consecutive years


Click here to read my Day 4 Diary Part I


Our Vinnie having been brought down in the previous race, jockey Paul Carberry either suffered a new injury, or aggravated the injury suffered on Tuesday, and was unable to take up his ride aboard Monbeg Dude in the following race, the Gold Cup; Sam Twiston-Davies now deputising for him. 


I recollect Paul had struggled to walk off the course when unseated from Mae’s Choice during Tuesday’s Mares’ Hurdle and he’d missed his ride aboard Bondage in Wednesday’s Coral Cup, and aboard Hilali in the Fred Winter.  Paul returned on Thursday to take up his two engagements, riding Texas Jack in the Jewson Novices’ Chase and winning the World Hurdle aboard Solwhit. 


Paul had ridden Hidden Justice in the first race today, the Triumph Hurdle, and Il Fenomeno in the County Hurdle.  Jeremiah McGrath would take the now-spare Paul Carberry ride aboard Kid Cassidy in today’s final race. 


However, it was good news as regards the rain ... it had finally stopped!


Being the feature event of the day, there was an on-course pre-race parade.  The horses were led out onto the racecourse, the competitors sorting themselves into number order before being paraded in front of the stands; Bobs Worth, the 11-4 favourite, leading the way.  Two mounted members of a local hunt preceded the racehorses.  Numbers 2 and 9 were missing from the parade; non-runners Bog Warrior and Sunnyhillboy. 


The parade having been completed, the horses cantered down the turf to enter the all-weather strip and travel part way down it before exiting onto the course.  The Gold Cup starting gate is situated just beyond the second nearest steeplechase fence and is run over two complete circuits plus two fences and the run-in.  The order in which they circled at the start suggested that Long Run and The Giant Bolster were likely to make the running.  


Race 4

Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1)


3 miles 2 furlongs 110 yards (22 fences to negotiate)

No. of Runners



Then they were off.  The cheek-pieced Long Run led them away, from The Giant Bolster, then Silviniaco Conti against the inside rail, Bobs Worth to his outside and, wider still, Sir des Champs.  Behind Ruby’s mount was Captain Chris and, at the back of the group, Monbeg Dude, Wayward Prince and Cape Tribulation.  The leader hit the first but remained ahead.  No errors at the second fence, Long Run had a two lengths advantage over the field as they headed out into the country for the first time.


Heading down the back straight, Long Run hit the third fence too but he put in a beautiful leap at the 5th, the first open-ditch.  Little change in the order as they continued towards the dog-leg turn and the far corner; around 10 to 12 lengths covering the field.  Silviniaco Conti hit the 9th fence, the one situated just before the downhill section began.  Wayward Prince was at the back of the field and already appeared to be travelling less well than his rivals.


Into the home straight again and approaching the next fence, Long Run still led; Sir des Champs was close up to his outside, then came The Giant Bolster.  Silviniaco Conti was behind these against the rail, with Bobs Worth to his outer.  Behind him was Captain Chris, to his inner Cape Tribulation; Monbeg Dude followed the latter and Wayward Prince brought up the rear.    


Long Run retained the lead over these two fences, flying the first but not quite so accurate at the second.  The field headed up around the top bend and out into the country for the final time; Captain Chris clearly demonstrating his preference to jump out noticeably to his right as they cleared the next fence.  Wayward Prince and Monbeg Dude were, by this time, struggling to the rear of the field.


The runners cleared the water-jump, then headed over the open-ditch; Long Run taking a huge leap over the fence.  By the time the runners had reached the dog-leg turn, a group of six had broken clear of the remainder, with Cape Tribulation a little adrift of these.  The Giant Bolster made an error at the 17th, losing his third place pitch, although Tom Scudamore soon drove him back up into contention again.  Long Run continued to lead.


Sir des Champs joined Long Run as they cleared the fence at the top of the hill, 4 out.  Silviniaco Conti was cruising along just in behind these, with The Giant Bolster now in fourth position, and Bobs Worth appearing under a little bit of pressure to keep up with the leaders.  Captain Chris, in sixth position, continued to lose ground at each fence as he jumped out to his right. 


Temporary disaster struck for Silviniaco Conti jumping three out, the horse knuckling on landing.  Bobs Worth deftly side stepped the prostrate horse; fortunate not to be brought down.  Heading around the final turn, Long Run and Sir des Champs disputed the lead, The Giant Bolster was four lengths behind these and Barry Geraghty’s mount even further back.  At this stage it looked as though the race was between the first two.


But not only did The Giant Bolster appear on the scene again as they straightened up, now just a length behind, but so too did Bobs Worth who was eating up the ground to make his challenge.  The latter was a mere length behind Long Run and Sir des Champs as they jumped the penultimate fence and was driven out to lead over the last. 


The little ‘terrier’ then stuck out his head and galloped up to the line to win by 7 lengths, having fully stayed the trip despite the ground conditions.  Sir des Champs claimed second having passed Long Run after the last, but had been no match for the winner and finished very tired.  The Giant Bolster completed in 4th, with Cape Tribulation 5th, Captain Chris 6th and Wayward Prince 7th.  Monbeg Dude was pulled up before the second last.    


Bobs Worth is a fabulous little horse; a wolf in sheep’s clothing!  Both Silviniaco Conti and Ruby Walsh were fine following their mishap.     







Bobs Worth

Barry Geraghty

Nicky Henderson


Sir Des Champs

AP McCoy

Willie Mullins


Long Run

Mr Sam Waley-Cohen

Nicky Henderson


The Giant Bolster

Tom Scudamore

David Bridgwater


Bobs Worth had become the first horse since Flyingbolt to win three different races in consecutive years at the Festival.  The latter having won the Gloucestershire Hurdle (Division I) 1964, the Cotswold Chase 1965, and the Champion Chase 1966.   


Having seen the winning horse walk back down the all-weather track in front of the grandstand on their way to the Winners’ Enclosure, I was now seeking a change of scene from the thoroughly yucky, muddy confines of the Members’ lawn.  It was time to venture out to the centre of the racecourse to find a suitable vantage point close to the final fence from which to view the next race.


The 2-1 favourite for this event was Salsify, the 2012 winner.  The Foxhunter Chase is the amateur riders’ equivalent of the Gold Cup; run over the same course and distance.  Having left the Parade Ring, the competitors cantered up the all-weather strip in front of the grandstand before returning via the racecourse turf to re-enter the strip and exit onto the racecourse part way down it.


Race 5

CGA Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup


3 miles 2 furlongs 110 yards (22 fences to negotiate)

No. of Runners



Then they were off.  Creevytennant led them away, from Doctor Kingsley, Coombe Hill and Louis Pasteur.  Last away was Salsify ... no surprise there then!  The leader had set up a clear advantage by the time the runners began their journey down the back straight on the first occasion.  However, he nearly came a cropper at the first of the fences therein when jumping out to his right, which is a well documented trait of his.  The blinkered Louis Pasteur travelled in second, from Oscar Delta, Coombe Hill (I’ve climbed his namesake a number of times) and Dante’s Storm. 


Heading towards first the dog-leg, then the far corner, the runners were still travelling as a group, apart from Radetsky March who was slightly detached; no casualties as yet, although Louis Pasteur blundered badly at the 8th.  All the horses safely negotiated the tricky fence at the top of the hill, the jockey aboard Chapoturgeon hailing a cab following an error at the next obstacle.


Heading up the home straight for the next occasion, Creevytennant still led the way, despite his preference to jump out to his right; in behind him was Oscar Delta, Louis Pasteur, Coombe Hill and Cottage Oak; the latter’s pilot wearing replacement silks as the correct ones had been left at home!  What A Laugh blundered at the 12th. 


Heading out into the country for the final time, there was still no change at the head of affairs and all the runners were still standing.  Travelling down the back straight the runners began to get strung out in the wake of the leaders; by the far corner last year’s winner had begun his move to pick off those in front of him.  Dante’s Storm was the first faller, 4 out.


Heading down the hill, Oscar Delta assumed the lead, Cottage Oak now in second as the long-time leader dropped back.  The runners cleared the third last, Salsify soon looming up to take third position, then second, his jockey checking behind for any dangers; he appeared to have them all covered. It was time to take aim at the leader, Oscar Delta, just a couple of lengths ahead of him.


However, the leader had other ideas, his jockey Jane Mangan had set sail for home and increased their advantage.  Salsify came under pressure as they approached the last, and it appeared that his jockey’s carefully laid plan had been thwarted.  But after clearing the last the impossible happened as, having reached the flimsy tape which prevents the runners from carrying on around the turn thus ensuring they continue to the winning post instead, the leader jinked when Jane changed her whip-hand from right to left and hit the tape, unseating his unfortunate rider, leaving Salsify to collect first prize for the second year running.  


Not surprisingly the young Irish girl was distraught having been so close and yet so far.  Colman Sweeney was one lucky ‘son of a bitch’ to have won.  The horse which completed in 2nd was called, appropriately, Divine Intavention!  Cottage Oak completed in 3rd, with the only other finisher Doctor Kingsley in 4th.  


That’s Rhythm fell 2 out; all those still standing had been pulled up.  








Mr Colman Sweeney

Rodger Sweeney


Divine Intavention

Mr M Wall

Miss Francesca Moller


Cottage Oak

Mr P Gerety

JJ O’Shea


Doctor Kingsley

Mr P Mann

Mrs Pauline Harkin


The race having been completed, it was time for me to head back across the track, along with the other spectators who had watched the race from the area in the centre of the racecourse. 


As we were crossing the ‘Old Course’, we were stopped in our tracks by one of the stewards.  A loose horse was heading up the home straight towards us.  It galloped by and we were soon on our way back to the Member’s lawn area once more.


I returned to my favoured spot beside the course-side rails to watch the two remaining races.


The 9-4 favourite for the next event was Gevrey Chambertin trained, strangely enough, by David Pipe son of Martin!  Martin Keighley had a runner in this race, Havingotascoobydo.


The starting gate for this event was in the mid-course chute; upon exiting the horse walkway, the runners cantered across the home straight and headed up the all-weather track around the top bend.  They then crossed the racecourse to enter the chute; with two flights to negotiate before the far turn. 


Race 6

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle


2 miles 4 furlongs 110 yards (10 hurdles to negotiate)

No. of Runners



Then they were off.  The runners were led away by Double Ross, followed by one of the greys Stopped Out, then Kells Belle, Act Of Kalanisi and Constant Contact; at the back of the main group were Edeymi and Salubrious.  For some inexplicable reason, First Avenue having got slowly into stride was soon completely tailed off; the horse had won Sandown’s Imperial Cup the previous Saturday in atrocious going conditions.  


Turning into the home straight on the first occasion, the favourite was already being pushed along to retain his position.  Heading up towards the grandstands, Double Ross continued to dispute the lead with Stopped Out.  They were followed by Constant Contact, Act Of Kalanisi, Kells Belle, Gevrey Chambertin, Nagpur, Solix, Bathwick Brave, Village Vic, Bridgets Pet, Paint The Clouds, Ma Filleule, Havingotascoobydo, Harry Hunt, Loch Ard, Art Professor, Bourne, Edeymi, Make Your Mark, Toner d’Oudairies, Salubrious and First Avenue; the latter having closed the gap to 8 or so lengths from around 15 at the far turn.


Double Ross kicked his way through the flight in front of the stands; the proceeding runners completing the job he began, the panel now lying flat against the turf.  The field then headed out into the country for the one and only time, and began their journey along the back straight.  Double Ross and Stopped Out continued to lead, from Act Of Kalanisi, Constant Contact and Kells Belle.  A runner in midfield flattened one of the panels in flight six. 


It was a clearer round over the next but three departed at flight number eight, three out, where the weakening Solix fell and brought down both Bathwick Brave and Edeymi.  Around the far turn, Stopped Out took up the running, Double Ross now in second with Act Of Kalanisi to his outside and wider still, Kells Belle.  As they headed down the hill, many of the jockeys in the leading group steered their mounts to the outside of the course, two of the greys Stopped Out and Gevrey Chambertin remaining to the inside.   


Having cleared two out, Double Ross came to the fore once more, Stopped Out now in second, from Act Of Kalanisi and Bridgets Pet; going best of all and making progress in behind the leaders was Salubrious.  The Paul Nicholls runner mounted his challenge against the stand-side rails and took the lead heading towards the last flight; the tiring Bridgets Pet fell here and Art Professor unseated his jockey where he jumped it awkwardly.


Having initially battled on after the last, Double Ross then faded as Salubrious galloped on strongly to the line to win by 7 lengths.  The former was caught for 2nd by the staying on Nagpur, with Make Your Mark claiming 4th.  Thirteen of the 23 runners completed; five pulled-up including Havingotascoobydo, the others departed along the way.  All the horses were fine following their mishaps. 








Harry Derham

Paul Nicholls



Tom Cannon

Venetia Williams


Double Ross

Adam Wedge

Nigel Twiston-Davies


Mark Your Mark

Declan Lavery

Willie Mullins


Finally Paul Nicholls had trained a winner at this year’s Festival, courtesy of a fine ride from his nephew Harry Derham for whom it was a first Cheltenham Festival career winner.



Tom Bellamy, the rider of GEVREY CHAMBERTIN (FR), which was pulled up, reported that the gelding missed the break and was never travelling. The Stewards ordered GEVREY CHAMBERTIN (FR) to be routine tested.


It was now time for the final race of the 2013 Festival; the 3-1 favourite for this race was Alderwood.  One non-runner, Benefficient, who had won yesterday’s Jewsons Novices’ Chase.  Having his second run of the week was His Excellency, who’d finished 3rd in Tuesday’s Arkle behind Simonsig.


The race being named in honour of Nicky Henderson’s father, who had been instrumental in saving the racecourse from developers in the 1960s, the trainer sent out six of today’s 23 runners.  One of those, Kid Cassidy, set off to the start early due to his very excitable nature; it is often suggested that the horse has been permanently affected by his experience at Newbury when he received an electric shock in their Parade Ring.  Two horses died that day as a result of the incident.    


There were two Alan King runners in this event, Oh Crick being ridden by Mr Joshua Newman as he always is these days, and one of my favourites Kumbeshwar ridden by Wayne Hutchinson.


The race being run over a distance of two miles, the horses cantered up the all-weather strip in front of the grandstands before returning down the turf and entering the strip once more to canter to the starting gate at the far end of the home straight.


The Tom George-trained Rody had been declared to run in a tongue-tie.  Having omitted this, he was returned to the stable to have it fitted, thus arriving late at the start. 


Race 7

Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup (Handicap)


2 miles 110 yards (13 fences to negotiate – 1 omitted)

No. of Runners



Having stood away from the other runners when within the enclosure, Reynard was at the front of the pack as they approached the tape.  Then they were off.  The runners were initially led away by the aforementioned horse, the grey Stagecoach Pearl soon taking up the lead, closely followed by Shooters Wood and King Edmund.  Kumbeshwar travelled in around 7th position, with Oh Crick a couple of lengths behind him.  Kid Cassidy was held up at the rear of the field.  Rody hit the second fence, but survived. 


As they headed up over the third fence, Tetlami came to join Stagecoach Pearl at the head of affairs; close behind where Shooters Wood, Gus Macrae, Petit Robin, Kumbeshwar and King Edmund; Ruby’s mount Ulck Du Lin made an error here. 


The first competitor to depart was Kumbeshwar, he dived at the fourth fence and took a crashing fall; Marshal Zhukov was unable to side-step the fallen horse and was brought down.  Also affected by this incident were Viva Colonia, Rody, Tatenen and Drumshambo, who were all hampered by the two prostrate horses.  Ian Popham was quick to rise but Wayne remained on the turf, screens quickly erected around him.  Both horses got up and galloped away. 


The remaining runners headed up around the top turn and out into the country for the one and only time.  Tetlami and Stagecoach Pearl continued to cut out the running from King Edmund, Petit Robin, Shooters Wood, Oiseau de Nuit, Drumshambo, Gus Macrae, French Opera, Reynard, Tanks For That, Anquetta and Rody; Viva Colonia was at the rear of the field, Ulck Du Lin just in front of him.  The field continued over the first in the back straight, then the water-jump with no noticeable errors. 


The horses were spread wide across the track as they crossed the next few fences, Kid Cassidy travelling the widest of all having made up ground on the leaders.  The novice, Tetlami, led the runners around the dog-leg turn, from King Edmund, Stagecoach Pearl, Petit Robin, Oiseau de Nuit, Oh Crick, Drumshambo and Shooters Wood.  All of the runners safely negotiated the second open-ditch, although a number of them were struggling to keep up with the main body of the field.


The competitors continued on their journey towards the farthest point of the track and the 10th fence; the leader fell here, bringing down Stagecoach Pearl.  The inside plastic rail was dislodged as the runners avoided the faller; hampered were Shooters Wood, His Excellency, Tanks For That, and Tatenen for a second time.  The struggling Ulck Du Lin was pulled up before this fence.


Tetlami having departed, this left King Edmund, Petit Robin, Drumshambo and the cruising Kid Cassidy to take over at the head of affairs.  In their slipstream, Oh Crick, Oiseau de Nuit, Rody and Parsnip Pete.  The favourite, Alderwood, travelled just behind the remaining Alan King runner.  His Excellency departed at the next fence, the tricky one at the top of the hill, when travelling a couple of lengths behind the main group of runners. 


The field headed downhill to what would be the second last fence on this occasion; markers having been placed atop the final fence to prevent the competitors from jumping the obstacle, as Wayne Hutchinson was still being tended on the landing side. 


Kid Cassidy led over the fence, from Petit Robin, Oiseau du Nuit, Drumshambo and Alderwood; AP McCoy having taken advantage of a passageway to the inside against the rails.  Heading around the final turn, Jerry McGrath’s mount led the way, from Alderwood just a length behind, with Petit Robin to his outside.  The two JP McManus runners began to pull clear of the remainder as they approached the last fence; AP’s mount just half a length behind as they landed. 


They then bypassed the final fence, Alderwood already having gained the advantage at this point.  Despite Kid Cassidy’s best efforts, AP’s mount gradually drew away to win by 3¼ lengths at the line.  Oiseau de Nuit finished 10 lengths back in 3rd, with Drumshambo 4th and Petit Robin 5th.  Tatenen stayed on to complete in 6th.


It was the third crashing fall Kumbeshwar had taken within a year – Punchestown last season and Kempton Park in early November being the other occasions.  I think he’s got a whole lot of brawn but not a lot of brain, poor old thing!  Although it did initially look bad for Wayne Hutchinson when he was assisted off the course by the medics; it turned out to be just a bang on the foot and he’d recovered sufficiently to ride at Kempton Park the following day.








AP McCoy

Thomas Mullins


Kid Cassidy

Jeremiah McGrath

Nicky Henderson


Oiseau de Nuit

Brendan Powell

Colin Tizzard



Aidan Coleman

Venetia Williams


I wasn’t in a hurry to get away today; on the final day I always leave my departure until the majority of cars have exited.  I waited until the final prize giving had been completed, before setting off up the concourse to exit via the main gate located adjacent to the Centaur building.


As my car was parked in the top field, close to the Evesham Road entry point, it wasn’t so far to walk today as on the previous three days; not that it is ever very far away compared to the distance some punters had to walk! 


It will be no surprise when I tell you that my boots were very muddy, as was the hem of my favourite long black skirt.  I wanted to avoid taking mud into my car, which meant not walking on the muddy grass in my driving shoes.  I keep a 9-litre Really Useful box in the car at all times, ready to put dirty shoes and boots into but, today, I felt my extraordinarily muddy boots needed a bigger storage box ... luckily there’s always a red one in the boot of the car; I retrieved it and placed it in the passenger foot-well.  I then sat with my feet sticking out of the passenger door to take off the boots, carefully placing them in the box. 


I’d already hung my soggy coat over the back of the passenger seat, so that it draped into the rear foot-well.  I then slide across into the driver’s seat. 


The good news was that the car which had parked in front of me this morning was gone ... the bad news was that someone else had parked their car in its place.  Further along my row of cars, a lady had to ask someone to push her car so that she could reverse out of its spot; we were on a slope.  Great.  I decided I’d wait for the driver of the car in front of me to return and leave, then I’d follow suit as soon as the traffic had cleared sufficiently.


I decided to change out of my muddy skirt too, putting on a pair of jogging pants over my treggings to keep warm.  I had food to eat – two cheese rolls and a box of 24 Jaffa cakes; I’d soon polished off the former, followed by 12 of the latter!  The guy returned to his car and then, unfortunately, decided to spend ages eating food and reading his newspaper; typical.  I waited and I waited ... as I was not about to step out onto the muddy grass nor put on my boots again to ask him to move. 


The exit roadway had cleared to a trickle of traffic and my car was beginning to steam up inside by this time.  However, I was able to amuse myself by watching the stewards pushing cars out of the boggy mud so that their owners could leave!  I was situated close to one of the generator lit floodlights. 


Eventually the driver backed out of his space and left.  Yippee, I could go home now!  As there was no problem driving forwards out of my parking space, I reached the roadway without bother and drove through the gap in the hedge and began the drive down the hill towards the gate.  My progress was interrupted by a tractor, which must have been pulling cars out of the quagmire; I stopped to allow a lady driver entering from my left to leave, her car wheels spinning as she tried to get sufficient grip on muddy grass. 


I recall that on previous years, when leaving late on the final day, I’d been permitted to turn left into Swindon Lane; this was not the case today.  I took a left into Tommy Taylor’s Lane, fortunately much of the traffic had already cleared, so I was able to drive to within a third of the distance from the far end before encountering a queue. 


Once I’d turned left into St Paul’s Road, my progress was okay, solely being delayed by cars coming from the opposite direction because parked vehicles partly blocked the road.  Having crossed the Evesham Road, I headed past the Holst Museum and then took the left-hand lane to travel up the Prestbury Road to the roundabout.   


After a short delay here, I turned right to travel around Pittville Circus and into Pittville Circus Road.  At the far end I turned left into Hewlett Road and drove to the longabout.  From there, I ascended Harp Hill which is horrendously pot-holed ... no surprise there then ... before taking a right into Greenway Lane, also badly pot-holed; safely negotiating the two traffic calming chicanes therein.  My poor car ...


I arrived at the traffic lights at the Six Ways junction at just the right time, for they changed to green moments later.  It can take some time to clear this junction as there are five roads entering the junction (the sixth having been blocked off), each of which has their own traffic lights phase!  It was 19:30 and I was finally on my way home to Hertfordshire.  Bye bye Cheltenham for another season; with fingers crossed for better luck for Choc’s participation in the 2014 renewal.


The downside to leaving late was that darkness had fallen, but at least I wasn’t in any particular hurry to get home today, being the final day of the Festival and with no plans for the weekend ... apart from rest and recuperation!  Mind you, with much to do to update my website, rest was probably what I wouldn’t experience.


It was raining, lightly, as I drove up the escarpment into the Cotswolds.  Being mid-evening, there were no delays on the road; the pot-holes were hard to miss in the dark as usual!


As I approached Burford, the rain began to fall heavily and would remain like that throughout the remainder of my journey.  I decided to drive at a sensible speed, in keeping with the weather conditions, along the dual carriageway of the Witney bypass; unlike many others.  The stretch of road between that and the first set of traffic lights was an absolute nightmare for me; the rain continued to pelt down, causing much road water which large vehicles heading in the opposite direction sprayed all over my windscreen.  I know old age is a handicap to night driving, but I didn’t think it would happen quite so soon.  It was already bad enough that I found it extremely difficult to see the curb!


As with all my journeys home this week, my route took me via Oxford’s Northern bypass to join the M40 at junction 8.  This is when my journey became even more scary as, having driven over 700 miles during the course of the past four days, I could have oh so easily have dozed off to sleep whilst driving on the motorway.  Yawn, yawn, yawn.  My motorway journeys on Tuesday and Wednesday had been okay, but yesterday it had moved into the dangerous territory due to tiredness, as had today.  


I took the clockwise carriageway having reached the M25 and travelled back to Hertfordshire; arriving home at 21:35 having foregone the ‘pleasure’ of filling up the petrol tank at the station next to Junction 20.  My plan was to wait until a week Sunday to do that ... not knowing that the snow would return in volume the following weekend.  Where was Spring?  


Having unloaded all my soaking wet clothes from the car, my coat was consigned to the airing cupboard to dry out; long skirt to an empty washing bowl ready for the following morning.  My handbag was emptied and also placed in the airing cupboard; the contents strewn in an armchair.  My soggy race-card and badge left on the table to dry.  My muddy boots remained in their red box, cleaning to take place the following day. 


I was too tired and there is no longer a need to log onto my laptop to catch up on any tweets now that I have a smart-phone so, having eaten a supper of Spaghetti Bolognese, from M & S and therefore unlikely to contain horse ... I turned in for the night at around 10:45, hopeful of a Saturday morning lie-in.  As it turned out, I awoke just before 07:00 ... never mind; I got up, as there was work to be done!  


It had been very cold all week, my nose had never stopped running (it’s been worse since my sinus operation) and it was now peeling; anyone not knowing, would have thought I’d recently had a cold!  In fact I’d not had one since November 2011 ...


Although the 2013 Festival had been very ‘trying’ as a result of Choc’s absence through injury, and had a very downbeat and disappointing feel to it, not helped by the horrendously cold weather and Friday’s rain, the following week I booked my 2014 five day holiday to coincide with next year’s event.  Obviously I’m a glutton for punishment.  However, I will definitely need to stay in the area at some point overnight during the week in order to retain my sanity, and to remain within safety guidelines. 


The next time I filled up my car with petrol having not driven anywhere in the interim, apart from actually back down to the petrol station of course, it cost £27.60. 


Here is a final round-up of the winners ...


Ruby Walsh was top jockey with 4 winners; Bryan Cooper and Barry Geraghty rode 3 apiece; AP McCoy 2.  Other winning jockeys were Brendan Powell (Junior ... because I remember Senior riding!), Mr Sam Waley-Cohen, Mr Patrick Mullins, Sam Twiston-Davies, Davy Russell, Wayne Hutchinson, Davy Condon, Richie McLernon, Joe Tizzard, Paul Carberry, Liam Treadwell, Mr Ryan Hatch, Barry Cash, Mr Colman Sweeney and Harry Derham.

Willie Mullins was top trainer with 5 winners; Nicky Henderson trained 4; Nigel Twiston-Davies, Colin Tizzard and Tony Martin 2 apiece.  Other trainers with winners were Jim Culloty, Alan King, Gordon Elliott, Tony Martin, Jonjo O’Neill, Charles Byrnes, Venetia Williams, Peter Maher, Dessie Hughes, Rebecca Curtis, Paul Nicholls and Thomas Mullins.

It was Ireland 14 UK 13 ... so not such a good Festival for the home-based team.  The away team was strong this year and the prevailing ground will also have aided their efforts. 

The St Patrick’s Derby Charity race was won by Age of Glory ridden by Brian Bunyan.  Although now London-based, the jockey was born in Kildare Town in Ireland and the horse is also trained in Ireland by his brother Darren.  So we can’t even claim this event to make it a score-draw!

Click here for photos Day Four

Click here for photos Cheltenham Gold Cup



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