Two syndicate horses sole the headlines during a memorable four days at the Cheltenham Festival. Simon Mapletoft reflects on another big week for smaller owners.
Rebecca Curtis and her RACING FOR FUN members are dreaming of further top level success after the seven-year-old Lisnigar Oscar bounced back to form in timely fashion to claim the Grade 1 Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle.
What a turn up! 😮
Syndicate superstar Lisnigar Oscar win’s the Stayers Hurdle at a huge price for the Racing For Fun syndicate 👏
Congratulations to all involved 🥂pic.twitter.com/reQPwbdzc7
— Great British Racing (@GBRacing) March 12, 2020
Celebrating her fourth Grade 1 winner, the Newport trainer said: “It made me really emotional just seeing how much Oscar’s victory meant to my owners. It’s reminded me that ours is a sport like nothing else.”
IMPERIAL RACING are no strangers to Cheltenham Festival glory and have their sights set on next year’s Festival already following the victory of the Kim Bailey trained Imperial Aura in the Northern Trust Company Novices’ Handicap Chase.
A decade after the syndicate’s Imperial Commander stormed to Gold Cup success, Bailey said: “This race had been the plan all season. He’s only a baby but he jumps well and I hope he’ll be a Graded horse next year.”
Team GB take the lead towards the end of day 1 at the Festival 🇬🇧
Syndicate horse Imperial Aura wins the 4:50 Novices’ Handicap Chase @kimbaileyracing
Big congrats to the Imperial Racing Partnership 🎉pic.twitter.com/Gy1oeTIFn9
— Great British Racing (@GBRacing) March 10, 2020
Outside of Prestbury Park, Dorset trainer Anthony Honeyball completed a remarkable syndicate treble on Saturday – across two venues.
He won a Listed mares’ bumper at Kempton Park with Coquelicot in the colours of GEEGEEZ.CO.UK, initiating an across-the-card double for Cheltenham Festival winning jockey Rex Dingle, who took the Martin Pipe Conditional Hurdle just a day earlier.
Earlier, Dingle steered Wagner home in a maiden hurdle for Honeyball and the POTWELL RACING SYNDICATE while the in-form handler was also in the winner’s enclosure with Duhallow Gesture for the GALVESTON PARTNERS.
At Uttoxeter on Saturday, FOXTROT RACING were celebrating again when Solstice Star took the lady riders’ handicap hurdle for Martin Keighley and Lilly Pinchin. It was the 10-year-old’s ninth win in 44 starts.