Monday 9 October 2017

Cheltenham Festival 2002 - The Festival Returns

The outbreak of foot and mouth disease and subsequent ban on the movement of livestock, including the suspension of racing, put paid to the 2001 Cheltenham Festival in its entirety.

However, it was business as usual in 2002, with Flagship Uberalles supplementing his win in Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown the previous December in the Queen Mother Champion Chase to maintain his 100% record for new trainer Philip Hobbs.

Flagship Uberalles was one of just two winners for Richard Johnson, the other being Rooster Booster in the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle, but that was enough to make him leading jockey.

Hors La Loi III ran on well to beat Marble Arch by 3 lengths in the Smurfit Champion Hurdle, Best Mate did likewise in the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup, coming home 1¼ lengths ahead of Commanche Court, and Baracouda just got the better of Bannow Bay in the Bonusprint Stayers’ Hurdle, winning by a neck, albeit a shade cleverly.

In the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, 14/1 chance Pizarro, trained by Edward O’Grady and ridden by Jamie Spencer, was all out to hold 5/2 favourite Rhinestone Cowboy, trained by Jonjo O’Neill and ridden by Norman Williamson.

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