Cheltenham Festival Draws Record Crowds

Cheltenham Festival

The 2019 Cheltenham Festival is in the books and drew record crowds. (Photo credit: Cheltenham Racdecourse).

The Festival™ 2019, which seemed to break new ground for the number of heart-warming and captivating stories, reached a conclusion at Cheltenham on Friday.

It had thrilled fans of Jump racing, attracted record crowds on each day, received superb television and media coverage and delighted the Cheltenham team, headed by Ian Renton, The Jockey Club’s Regional Director, Cheltenham and South West Racecourses.

Renton said: “It’s been absolutely wonderful, and the most extraordinary four days of Jump racing. The Thursday, in particular, will live long in the memory of everyone that was here to witness it.

“It has been a challenging Festival – in the lead-up we had equine flu, which caused a bit of a stop-start for a few days, and internally we were a little concerned about the forecast for windy Wednesday, which we had been aware of some way in advance. That forced us to spend quite a bit of time thinking of contingency plans. Fortunately, they weren’t needed.

“In terms of stories surrounding the winners I cannot remember a better Festival. Tiger Roll’s win in the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase, his fourth at the meeting, was wonderful, and Altior’s victory in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase was a great illustration of an outstanding steeplechaser. For Gavin Cromwell’s first Festival win to come in the Unibet Champion Hurdle [with Espoir D’Allen] was quite a rarity.

“We have all been waiting for Willie Mullins to win the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, so the victory today by Al Boum Photo, who he trains, was a delight for everyone who follows Jump racing.

“Finding a personal highlight is not easy, but to see Bryony [Frost] presenting Frodon at the fences in the Ryanair Chase, and watching her proving to be such an accomplished jockey is hard to beat. The way she portrayed herself after the race and her obvious love for that horse was wonderful to watch. Similarly, from Thursday afternoon, the win for Paisley Park in the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle, and the dignified way his [blind] owner, Andrew Gemmell, showed his delight, was great for the sport.

“The team here at Cheltenham have worked tirelessly throughout, and I hope everyone who has attended has thoroughly enjoyed their visit. I’m looking forward to the 2020 Festival already.”

The Festival™ presented by Magners 2019 – Winners
Champion Day – Tuesday, March 12, 2019
1:30pm Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y £125,000
KLASSICAL DREAM (FR) Joanne Coleman 5-11-07 Willie Mullins IRE/Ruby Walsh 6/1
2:10pm Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y £175,000
DUC DES GENIEVRES (FR) Sullivan Bloodstock Limited 6-11-04 Willie Mullins IRE/Paul Townend 5/1
2:50pm Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f £110,000
BEWARE THE BEAR (IRE) George Barlow 9-11-08 Nicky Henderson/Jeremiah McGrath 10/1
3:30pm Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) 2m 87y £450,000
ESPOIR D’ALLEN (FR) J P McManus 5-11-10 Gavin Cromwell IRE/Mark Walsh 16/1
4:10pm OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Registered as the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle) (Grade 1) 2m 3f 200y £120,000
ROKSANA (IRE) Sarah Faulks 7-11-05 Dan Skelton/Harry Skelton 10/1
4:50 pm Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed Race) 2m 4f 63y £70,000
A PLUS TARD (FR) Cheveley Park Stud 5-11-07 Henry de Bromhead IRE/Rachael Blackmore 5/1 Fav
5:30pm National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) 3m 7f 166y £125,000
LE BREUIL (FR) Emma Palmer 7-11-06 Ben Pauling/Mr Jamie Codd 14/1
Ladies Day – Wednesday, March 13, 2019
1:30pm Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered as the Baring Bingham) 2m 5f £125,000
CITY ISLAND (IRE) Bernadine Mulryan 6-11-07 Martin Brassil IRE/Mark Walsh 8/1
2:10pm RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) 3m 80y £175,000
TOPOFTHEGAME (IRE) Chris Giles & Mrs & Mrs Paul Barber 7-11-04 Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden 4/1
2:50pm Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 5f £100,000
WILLIAM HENRY (IRE) Walters Plant Hire Ltd 9-11-10 Nicky Henderson/Nico de Boinville 28/1
3:30pm Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y £400,000
ALTIOR (IRE) Patricia Pugh 9-11-10 Nicky Henderson/Nico de Boinville 4/11 Fav
4:10pm Glenfarclas Chase (A Cross Country Chase) 3m 6f 37y £65,000
TIGER ROLL (IRE) Gigginstown House Stud 9-11-04 Gordon Elliott IRE/Keith Donoghue 5/4 Fav
4:50pm Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Registered as the Fred Winter) (Grade 3) £80,000
BAND OF OUTLAWS (IRE) Justin Carthy 4-11-08 Joseph O’Brien IRE/J. J. Slevin 7/2 Fav
5:30pm Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade 1) 2m 87y £75,000
ENVOI ALLEN (FR) Cheveley Park Stud 5-11-05 Gordon Elliott IRE/Mr Jamie Codd 2/1 Fav
St Patrick’s Thursday – Thursday, March 14, 2019
1:30 pm JLT Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Registered as the Golden Miller) 2m 4f 5y £156,760
DEFI DU SEUIL (FR) J P McManus 6-11-04 Philip Hobbs/Barry Geraghty 3/1 Fav
2:10pm Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 7f 213y £100,000
SIRE DU BERLAIS (FR) J P McManus 7-11-09 Gordon Elliott IRE/ Barry Geraghty 4/1 Fav
2:50pm Ryanair Chase (Registered as the Festival Trophy) (Grade 1) 2m 4f 184y £350,000
FRODON (FR) Paul Vogt 7-11-10 Paul Nicholls/Bryony Frost 9/2
3:30pm Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 7f 213y £325,000
PAISLEY PARK (IRE) Andrew Gemmell 7-11-10 Emma Lavelle/Aidan Coleman 11/8 Fav
4:10 pm Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 4f 184y £110,000
SIRUH DU LAC (FR) John White & Anne Underhill 6-10-11 Nick Williams/Lizzie Kelly (3) 9/2
4:50pm National Hunt Breeders Supported By Tattersalls Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered as the Dawn Run) 2m 179y £90,00
EGLANTINE DU SEUIL (FR) Sullivan Bloodstock Limited 5-11-02 Willie Mullins IRE/ Noel Fehily 50/1
5:30pm Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase 3m 2f 75y £70,000
ANY SECOND NOW (IRE) J P McManus 7-11-11 Ted Walsh IRE/Mr Derek O’Connor 6/1
Gold Cup Day – Friday, March 15, 2019
1:30 pm JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 179y £125,000
PENTLAND HILLS (IRE) Owners Group 031 4-11-00 Nicky Henderson/Nico de Boinville 20/1
2:10pm Randox Health County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 179y Weights raised 7lb £100,000
CH’TIBELLO (FR) The Can’t Say No Partnership 8-11-05 Dan Skelton/Harry Skelton 12/1
2:50pm Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered as the Spa Novices’ Hurdle) 2m 7f 213y £125,000
MINELLA INDO (IRE) Barry Maloney 6-11-05 Henry de Bromhead IRE/Rachael Blackmore 50/1
3:30pm Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Grade 1) 3m 2f 70y £625,000
AL BOUM PHOTO (FR) Marie Donnelly 7-11-10 Willie Mullins IRE/Paul Townend 12/1
4:10pm St. James’s Place Foxhunter Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase 3m 2f 70y £45,000
HAZEL HILL (IRE) Mrs D Williams 11-12-00 Philip Rowley/Mr Alex Edwards 7/2 Fav
4:50pm Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m 62y £110,000
CROCO BAY (IRE) Lady Jane Grosvenor 12-10-12 Ben Case/Kielan Woods 66/1
5:30pm Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f 56y £70,000
EARLY DOORS (FR) J P McManus 6-11-10 Joseph O’Brien IRE/Jonjo O’Neill Jr 5/1

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