Results Sprinter Sacre

Published on March 19th, 2013 | by Duncan Thomson

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The Top 10 Cheltenham Festival Winners Of 2013

Well, that’s the Cheltenham Festival over for another year and what a week it was. The meeting started under a bit of a cloud, quite literally, when the snow and frost threatened to scupper racing on the first day, but as the temperature improved throughout the morning we only had to suffer a short delay of 35 minutes before racing got underway and from then on it was plain sailing for the rest of the week.

I’m sure you’ll all have your favourite moments from this year’s Festival, and to place them in some semblance of order has proved difficult for me today too, but I’ve given it my best shot and these are the horses that I felt personally put up the best Cheltenham Festival performances of 2013.

You can click on the title of the entries to watch a replay of each race too.

1 – Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase

Is there anything this horse can’t do? Well, over two miles at least. This was his eight consecutive win and every time I see him his performances seem to be better than the last. He’s only a 7yo too, believe it or not, so there’s plenty of mileage left on the clock. The 1/1 that William Hill offered was amazing!

2 – Our Conor in the Triumph Hurdle

This was the most visually impressive winner I’ve ever seen in the Triumph Hurdle. He travelled like a dream throughout the race, drew alongside two out and then effortlessly pulled away from the field to win by 15 lengths. He’s now the clear favourite for next year’s Champion Hurdle and I can see why!

3 – Quevega in the Mares’ Hurdle

What isn’t to love about this amazing little horse? This was her fifth win in the race and she was only the second horse to win five races at the Festival since Golden Miller won the Gold Cup five years on the bounce back in the 1930′s. For that fact alone she deserves her place at the top of this list!

4 – Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle

Hurricane Fly defied the odds to land his second Champion Hurdle in some style. There had only been three winners over the age of eight in the last 58 years and it had been 40 plus years since a defeated champion came back to win it again, but the horse looked better than ever and won impressively!

5 – Bobs Worth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup

You might find it strange that the Gold Cup winner only makes it into number five on my list, and he did do everything right and won well in the end, but I felt that the race was tainted somewhat by the fall of Silviniaco Conti at the third last fence when he was probably travelling better than anything.

6 – Cue Card in the Ryanair Chase

I’ve been a huge fan of Cue Card since he strolled away with the Champion Bumper back in 2010, but there’s always been a niggling feeling that he’s been just short of top class, until now. That’s two Grade 1 races on the bounce now and he couldn’t have won the Ryanair any easier. One to follow, for sure!

7 – Briar Hill in the Champion Bumper (no video available)

Wullie Mullins had already notched up four wins at the meeting by the time we got around to the Champion Bumper, so it was amazing that this horse was allowed to go off at 25/1 with Ruby Walsh onboard. And what an impressive winner he was too – powering clear to win easily by 7 lengths!

8 – At Fishers Cross in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

Tony McCoy’s first winner at the meeting, At Fishers Cross, was notching up his fifth consecutive win here, bringing his career record up to 7/9, and he just seems to get better and better with every run. Travelling strongly throughout, he took the lead at the last and then quickly went 4 lengths clear!

9 – The New One in the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle

The New One came into this race with six previous wins and only two defeats to his name, the first time when he finished sixth in last year’s Champion Bumper and last time out when he finished a 1/4 length second to At Fishers Cross, so both horses look like they’ll be very exciting prospects next season!

10 – Champagne Fever in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

The second placed My Tent Or Yours arrived at Cheltenham with a lofty reputation after demolishing the field in the £86,000 Betfair Hurdle at Newbury in February, but just when it looked as though he was going to take it up, Champagne Fever kept pulling out more. Both should be followed in future!

Those are my favourite Cheltenham Festival winners of 2013. Of course, there are others I could have included and every winner was a champion on their day, but these were my personal favourites of the meeting and I’m sure there will be plenty of winners to be had in the future from this list too.

So that’s it for another year, but I always see the Cheltenham Festival as the start of the betting year, rather than the NH season coming to a close. The flat season kicks off at Doncaster on Saturday with the Lincoln Handicap and two weeks after that we’ve got the Grand National to get stuck into. Then, of course, a full summer of the best horse racing action in the world. Personally I can’t wait… :-)

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About the Author

has been "working" as a professional betting exchange trader since way back in 2006 when he resigned from - in his own words - "a boring IT job" to pursue a career doing something he loved. A self-confessed "tech geek", Duncan was one of the first people in the UK to set up an independent trading team on-course to profit from the time delay in TV broadcasts, so his experience is very welcome here!


4 Responses to The Top 10 Cheltenham Festival Winners Of 2013

  1. Mike says:

    Cue Card should/could have possibly been number #1 there actually, but I think when he meets Sprinter Sacre soon it will be all change. Sprinter Sacre will beat anything in the foreseeable future, including Cue Card, if the trip is right, me thinks!

  2. Atholl Blair says:

    Great list Duncan. I just noticed that you said on G+ that you should maybe have put Cue Card higher on your list, I would agree with that, but I like the ten you posted too. It’s handy to be able to click straight through to the video of the replay for each race!

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