Cheltenham Festival: 8 Cotswold racehorse trainers hoping for glory
PUBLISHED: 12:32 13 March 2015 | UPDATED: 14:59 15 June 2015
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Here are 8 National Hunt trainers from the Cotswolds gearing up for Cheltenham Festival; each hoping their horses will come home from Cheltenham Race Week triumphant. Who will you be putting your money on?
Leader of the Cotswold pack has to be former jockey and top class trainer Jonjo O’Neil, who moved to Jackdaws Castle in Temple Guiting from Cumbria in 2001. So far his tally of Cheltenham Festival winners is an impressive 25 and he is among the Festival’s top ten trainers of all time. His 2015 hopes for the Gold Cup rest on Holywell.”He is in great form and we are very happy with him, hopefully with the ground drying out he will run a big race,” says Jonjo.
One of the country’s top National Hunt trainers Nigel Twiston-Davies from Naunton, has had 15 winners at Cheltenham since 1992, including a memorable three in 2010 that included the Gold Cup. This year he has a number of horses entered at the Festival including Double Ross in the Ryanair Chase and The New One in the Champion Hurdle. Marlborough event rider Andrew Nicholson is also riding one of Nigel’s horses in the charity race St Patrick’s Derby which raises money for the Injured Jockey Fund
Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon, could have 6 or 7 horses running during Cheltenham Race Week, including entries for the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle on Gold Cup day. He particularly tips Killala Quay running in the Club Novice Handicap Chase, on Tuesday 10th March.
Charlie, who like Ben Pauling, spent time learning the trade with Nicky Henderson and in 2004 won the Alex Scott Memorial Fund Assistant Trainer’s Scholarship, which allowed him to work alongside champion flat trainer Todd Pletcher in the United States.
The Cheltenham Cold Cup hopes of Stow-on-the-Wold trainer David Bridgwater, aka ‘Bridgie’ firmly rest on 10 year old The Giant Bolster who has been a consistent performer in the race having come third last year, fourth in 2013 and second in 2012. Might be worth an each way bet…
Kim Bailey Racing
Andoversford trainer Kim Bailey has four horses heading to Cheltenham; Un Ace, Charingworth, Darna and Emily Gray. Kim is particularly known for training the 1995 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Master Oats and the same year’s Champion Hurdle winner Alderbrook.
Martin Keighley trains at the late David ‘The Duke’ Nicholson’s old yard at Condicote , and before becoming a trainer himself was a key member of The Duke’s team. He has a number of entries for Cheltenham including Flementime in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys´ Handicap Hurdle on Gold Cup day.
Relative newcomer to the training game Ben Pauling only set up his Bourton on the Water yard in 2013, but he learnt his trade from one of the best trainers in the country Nicky Henderson, with whom he spent six years as assistant trainer. He has got a number of horses entered for Cheltenham, including Raven’s Tower in the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle Grade 3 on Gold Ccup day
Cropthorn trainer Tony Carroll has Le Bacardy entered in Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Chase (Grade 3 Handicap) on March 13
Cheltenham Festival runs from 10-13 March