How many times has J.P. McManus won the Champion Hurdle?

How many times has J.P. McManus won the Champion Hurdle? Irish billionaire John Patrick McManus, almost invariably known in horse racing circles as ‘J.P.’, is far and away the most successful owner in the history of the Cheltenham Festival, with 66 winners to his name. Nevertheless, even by his own exalted standards, McManus enjoyed a remarkable Festival in 2020.

On Tuesday, March 10, his 69th birthday, he won the Champion Hurdle with Epatante. The following day, a dramatic success for Champ in the RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase initiated a 1,019/1 four-timer for the famous green and gold hooped colours and, even then, McManus was left to rue the ‘one that got away’; Defi Du Seul was sent off 2/5 favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase but, inexplicably, was never travelling and trailed in a well-beaten fourth of five finishers. However, McManus added two more winners to his lifetime total later in the week, making seven in all, which was, once again, more than enough to take home the Leading Owner award.

Back to the Champion Hurdle specifically, though, and it should come as no surprise that McManus is the leading owner in the history of the two-mile hurdling championship, win nine wins in all, dating back to 1998. His first three victories came courtesy of Istabraq – the joint second highest rated hurdler of all time, according to Timeform – who completed a hat-trick in 1998, 1999 and 2000; his other winners to date were Binocular (2010), Jezki (2014), Buveur D’Air (2017 and 2018), Espoir D’Allen (2019) and Epatante (2020).

Which trainer has won the Gold Cup at Ascot most often?

Which trainer has won the Gold Cup at Ascot most often? The Gold Cup – often referred to as the ‘Ascot Gold Cup’, to distinguish it from similarly-titled races, such as the Ayr Gold Cup or Cheltenham Gold Cup – is run over an advertised distance of 2 miles 4 furlongs as has been a fixture of the Royal Meeting at Ascot, traditionally staged in mid-June, since 1807. In its long, illustrious history, a total of 22 horses have won the Gold Cup at least twice, but the most successful of all, so far, was Yeats, who won four consecutive renewals between 2006 and 2009.

Yeats was trained by Aidan O’Brien and, perhaps not altogether surprisingly, the current ‘Master of Ballydoyle’ is the most successful trainer in the history of the Gold Cup. Since Yeats, whom O’Brien hailed as ‘an unbelievable horse’, the training legend has saddled three more winners of the Gold Cup, for a career total of seven.

In 2011, the 5-year-old Fame And Glory, ridden by Jamie Spencer, justified favouritism with a clear-cut, 3-length win over Opinion Poll. In 2014, the 4-year-old Leading Light, ridden by Joseph O’Brien, son of the trainer, did likewise, but only just prevailed in a driving finish. In 2016, another 4-year-old, Order Of St. George, ridden by Ryan Moore, was again sent off favourite and ran out an impressive, 3-length winner from Mizzou. Indeed, the same horse started favorite again in 2018 and went agonisingly close to winning again, losing out by a short head to Big Orange.

How many times has Willie Mullins been leading trainer at the Cheltenham Festival?

How many times has Willie Mullins been leading trainer at the Cheltenham Festival? William Peter ‘Willie’ Mullins is, of course, the son of Paddy Mullins, the legendary trainer best remembered for saddling Dawn Run to win the Champion Hurdle in 1984 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1986. Indeed, Willie Mullins worked as assistant trainer to his father and another Irish giant, Coolcullen handler Jim Bolger, before taking out a training licence in his own right in 1988.

Willie Mullins followed in his father’s footsteps by winning the Irish National Hunt Trainers’ Championship for the first time in 2000/01. He has been the perennial Irish champion trainer since 2007/08 and, at the time of writing, tops the table once again in 2021/22, with over €581,000 in hand of his nearest rival, Gordon Elliott.

As far as the Cheltenham Festival is concerned, Mullins saddled his first winner, Tourist Attraction, in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 1995 and has since become the most successful trainer in the history of the March showpiece, with 78 winners. Outright, he is the leading trainer in the history of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle, Broadway Novices’ Chase, Champion Bumper, Ryanair Chase, Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, Martin Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle and Golden Miller Novices’ Chase. Mullins is also, jointly, the leading trainer in the history of the County Handicap Hurdle. Mullins has won the leading trainer award at the Cheltenham Festival eight times, including the last three in a row, in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

When was the Lincoln Handicap last run at Lincoln Racecourse?

When was the Lincoln Handicap last run at Lincoln Racecourse? Inaugurated, as the Lincoln Spring Handicap Stakes, in 1853, when it was run over a mile-and-a-half, the race that would eventually become the Lincoln Handicap was shortened to a mile in 1855 and renamed the Lincolnshire Handicap four years later. Apart from interruptions for World War I and World War II, the race was staged at Lincoln Racecourse, on the Carholme, or West Common, west of Lincoln city centre, every year until 1964. At that point, the Horserace Betting Levy Board withdraw its subsidy from Lincoln Racecourse, causing its closure, and the newly-christened Lincoln Handicap was transferred permanently to Doncaster Racecourse.

From its inception until the advent of all-weather racing in 1989, the Lincoln Handicap traditionally marked the start of the Flat season. Nowadays, Flat racing is staged all year round, but in its heyday, in the interwar years, the Lincolnshire Handicap was one of the highlights of the year, attracting more interest than the whole of the Cheltenham Festival. Coupled with the Grand National, which was run within a week or so, as the so-called ‘Spring Double’, the Lincolnshire Handicap was phenomenally popular which, now that it has become just another handicap, is probably difficult for modern racegoers to imagine.

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