Which horse was Paul Nicholls’ first Cheltenham Festival winner?

Which horse was Paul Nicholls' first Cheltenham Festival winner? Paul Nicholls has come a long way since he arrived at Manor Farm Stables in Ditcheat, Somerset with just eight horses. With the possible exception of his landlord, Paul Barber, no-one could really have predicted his rise to the top of his profession, where he has remained for over two decades. Nicholls did not become Champion National Hunt Trainer for the first time until 2005/06, but has done so a further eleven times since and remains one of just three men – the other two being Martin Pipe, who retired in 2006, and Nicky Henderson – to have won the trainers’ title since the turn of the century.

As far as the Cheltenham Festival is concerned, Nicholls has saddled 46 winners and until 2021, when he drew a blank, had saddled at least one winner every year since 2002. He has won the Leading Trainer Award at the Cheltenham Festival six times, including on 1999, the year in which he saddled his first winner at the March showpiece. His first winner was, in fact, Flagship Uberalles in the Arkle Challenge Trophy on the opening day, but he also saddled Call Equiname to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase and See More Business to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup later in the week.

Which jockey has ridden the most winners at a single Cheltenham Festival?

Which jockey has ridden the most winners at a single Cheltenham Festival? Unsurprisingly, the jockey who has ridden the most winners at a single Cheltenham Festival is Rupert ‘Ruby’ Walsh. Walsh is, far and way, the most successful jockey in the history of the Cheltenham Festival, with 59 winners – 16 more than his nearest rival, Barry Geraghty – to his name. He retired from race riding in May, 2019, but is immortalised by the ‘Ruby Walsh Trophy’, which is presented to the leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival each year.

Walsh, himself, was leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival on no fewer than eleven occasions between 2004 and 2017, including five years running between 2013 and 2017. In 2009 – the year in which he won the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Master Minded, the World Hurdle on Big Buck’s and the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Kauto Star, all trained by Paul Nicholls – Walsh rode seven winners in total, setting a new record. Seven years later, in 2016, he equalled his own record by again riding seven winners, all trained by Willie Mullins, including Annie Power in the Champion Hurdle. In 2021, Rachael Blackmore, who rode six winners to become the first female jockey to win the Ruby Walsh Trophy, came as close as anyone else ever has to equalling the record.

Which is the longest race run at the Cheltenham Festival?

Which is the longest race run at the Cheltenham Festival? Traditionally, the National Hunt Challenge Cup, run over a distance of 3 miles, 7 furlongs and 170 yards – and known, colloquially, as the ‘four miler’ – was the longest race of the week at the Cheltenham Festival. However, the last time that race was run over its original distance was in 2018, when it was won by subsequent Grand National third, Rathvinden, trained by Willie Mullins.

In 2019, 18 horses contested the National Hunt Challenge Cup, but only four finished, with 47 lengths between the third and fourth horses home. Following a review by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the distance of the race was shortened to 3 miles, 5 furlongs and 201 yards, such that, from 2020 onwards, the Glenfarclass Cross Country Chase became the longest race run at the Cheltenham Festival.

Inaugurated, as a handicap, in 2005, the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase is run over a distance of 3 miles, 6 furlongs and 37 yards on the specialist Cross Country Course, which features both natural and artificial obstacles, including banks, ditches, water and timber rails. Unlike the National Hunt Challenge Cup, which is restricted to horses that have not won over fences at the start of the current season, and amateur jockeys, the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase has raised no welfare concerns, so seems likely to remain the longest race run at the Cheltenham Festival for the foreseeable future.

Which current jockey has ridden the most winners at the Cheltenham Festival?

Which current jockey has ridden the most winners at the Cheltenham Festival? Following the retirement of Richard Johnson on April 3, 2021, the current jockey who has ridden the most winners at the Cheltenham Festival is David ‘Davy’ Russell. Russell has, like Johnson, ridden 22 winners, a total exceeded only by countrymen Ruby Walsh, Barry Geraghty, A.P. McCoy and Pat Taaffe.

Russell, 42, spent nearly a year on the sidelines as the result of serious vertebrae injury sustained in a fall from Doctor Duffy in the Munster National at Limerick in October, 2020, and missed the 2021 Cheltenham Festival on medical advice. At the time of writing, he has yet to resume race riding, but has been riding out for Gordon Elliott and is reportedly ready to return when called upon to do so.

Russell rode his first Cheltenham winner, Native Jack, in what is now the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase in 2006. Thereafter, with the exception of 2019, he rode at least one winner at every Cheltenham Festival up to, and including, 2020. At the 2014 Cheltenham Festival, Russell rode three winners for the first time, including Lord Windermere in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He bettered that total in 2014 and his four winners – Presenting Percy in the RSA Novices’ Chase, Balko Des Flos in the Ryanair Chase, Delta Work in the Pertemps Final and The Storyteller in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate – were sufficient to win him the leading jockey award for the one and only time.

1 2 3 10