How many Cheltenham Festival winners has Alan King trained?

How many Cheltenham Festival winners has Alan King trained?  Assistant to twice champion trainer David Nicholson until his retirement in 1999, Alan King moved to his current base at Barbury Castle Stables in Wroughton, near Swindon, Wiltshire in 2000. Since then, he has sent out a total of 15 Cheltenham Festival winners, although the most recent of them was Uxizandre – who was, coincidentally, Tony McCoy’s last Festival winner – in the Ryanair Chase in 2015.

Of the four main ‘championship’ races at the Festival, King has won the Stayers’ Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and Champion Hurdle once apiece, with My Way De Solzen (2006), Voy Por Ustedes (2007) and Katchit (2008) respectively. Indeed, all three of those horses were, or became, multiple Cheltenham Festival winners; Voy Por Ustedes had won the Arkle Challenge Trophy in 2006, Katchit had won the Triumph Hurdle in 2007 and My Way De Solzen went on to win the Arkle Challenge Trophy, again, in 2007.

Katchit was particularly notable, insofar as his victory in the Champion Hurdle was the first by a Triumph Hurdle winner since Kribensis in 1990 and the first by a five-year-old since See You Then in 1985. In 2013, in what is often one of the most competitive races of the entire Cheltenham Festival, the Coral Cup, King achieved a notable training feat by saddling the 33/1 winner, Medina, and the 14/1 second, Meister Eckhart.

Since 2000, which was the longest-priced winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle?

Since 2000, which was the longest-priced winner of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle?  The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, run over 2 miles and 87 yards on the Old Course at Cheltenham, is the first race on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival. As such, the runners are greeted by hullabaloo from the grandstands, dubbed the ‘Cheltenham Roar’, as the starter raises the tape.

The 2001 renewal of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle was cancelled, as was the Cheltenham Festival as a whole, due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. However, in twenty runnings since, the longest-priced winner was Ebaziyan, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Davy Condon, who prevailed at odds of 40/1 in 2007. Indeed, Mullins, who is the leading trainer in the history of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, has saddled six of his seven winners in that period.

Nevertheless, as far as starting price is concerned, Ebaziyan was something of an exception; along with Arcalis, at 20/1 in 2005, and Labaik, at 25/1 in 2017, he is one of just three horses in the last two decades to have won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at odds longer than 12/1. Of the remaining seventeen winners, five were sent off favourite – including the only odds-on winner, Appreciate It, in 2021 – and another eight were returned at single-figure prices. Of course, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is a Grade 1 contest run at level weights, apart from weight-for-age and weight-for-sex allowances, so it is no great surprise that outsiders are something of a rarity.

Since World War II, how many five-year-olds have won the Champion Hurdle?

Since World War II, how many five-year-olds have won the Champion Hurdle?  Inaugurated in 1927, the Champion Hurdle is, of course, the two-mile hurdling championship and is run annually on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival in March. In recent years, five-year-old winners of the Champion Hurdle have been few and far between. In fact, the last of them was Espoir D’Allen in 2019 but, before that, Katchit in 2008 – who also had the distinction of being the first Triumph Hurdle winner since Kribensis, in 1990, to win the Champion Hurdle – was the only five-year-old winner since See You Then in 1985.

Including the aforementioned trio, since World War II, a total of nine five-year-olds have won the Champion Hurdle. Coincidentally, following the resumption of the Cheltenham Festival after a two-year hiatus, the first two renewals, in 1945 and 1946, were both won by five-year-olds, namely Brains Trust and Distel, respectively. The remaining quartet includes some memorable names in the history of the Champion Hurdle, three of whom went on to win eight renewals between them.

Sir Ken, trained by Willie Stephenson, was a five-year-old when he won the first of three consecutive Champion Hurdles in 1952, as was Anzio, trained by Fulke Walwyn, when he won his sole Champion Hurdle in 1962. Next up came another three-time winner, Persian War, trained by Colin Davies, in 1968 and he was followed by a dual winner, the incomparable Night Nurse, in 1976.

Which was the most successful horse in the Queen Mother Champion Chase?

Which was the most successful horse in the Queen Mother Champion Chase?  The Queen Mother Champion Chase was inaugurated, as the National Hunt Two-Mile Champion Chase, in 1959, before being renamed in 1980 to commemorate the eightieth birthday of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. In its history, a total of twelve horses, including Sprinter Sacre – the third highest-rated steeplechaser in the history of Timeform, behind only Arkle and Flying Bolt – have won the Queen Mother Champion Chase twice. However, just one has won the two-mile steeplechasing championship three times.

The horse in question was, of course, Badsworth Boy, who was trained at Poplar House Stables in Harewood, West Yorkshire by three different members of the Dickinson family. On the first occasion he won the Queen Mother Champion Chase, in 1983, Badsworth Boy was saddled by Michael Dickinson, who had taken over the training licence from his father, Tony, three years earlier. Badsworth won by a ‘distance’ – later measured as 36 lengths – from Artifice and stable companion Rathgorman.

Michael Dickinson was still at the helm when Badsworth Boy followed up in 1984, beating the enigmatic Little Bay by 10 lengths. However, by the time Badsworth Boy lined up, as a 10-year-old, for his hat-trick attempt in 1985, Michael Dickinson had departed Poplar House Stables for pastures new – as private trainer to Robert Sangster at Manton, Wiltshire – and handed his licence on to his mother, Monica. Nevertheless, under the watchful eye of ‘Mrs. D.’, Batchworth Boy, who was suffering from arthritis and othe ailments, beat Far Bridge by 10 lengths to earn a place in Cheltenham Festival folklore.

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