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A look at Cheveley Park stud horses recent success at the Cheltenham Festival

There was once a time when the red, white and blue silks of Cheveley Park Stud horses were almost exclusive to the flat racing circuit

Based in the sport’s proverbial home of Newmarket, the operation lies on almost 1000 acres and is the oldest stud farm in the area — with a history of breeding dating back over a thousand years.

They have enjoyed immense success as well, producing Classic champions and Group 1 victors galore to make their colours synonymous with flat racing. But there has been a shift towards building a legacy over obstacles as well since David and Patricia Thompson bought the farm in 1975, with the pair enjoying a Grand National triumph in 1992 thanks to Party Politics.

A look at Cheveley Park stud horses success at the Cheltenham Festival

Fast forward to the current day, and while the likes of Group 1 Coronation Stakes winner Inspiral and Listed Dubai Duty Free Cup Stakes champion Sacred are still flying the flag for Cheveley Park on the flat, the famous operation have witnessed most of their success in recent years come over fences and hurdles — particularly at the Cheltenham Festival.

With several big-name horses in training with Willie Mullins and Henry de Bromhead — two trainers who often dominate the horse racing betting markets at the top meetings on both sides of the Irish Sea — Cheveley Park have racked up an impressive 10 victories at Prestbury Park since 2019 — nine of which came in Grade 1 contests.

Half of those 10 wins have come in the Champion Bumper (3) and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (2), which are both top-level races in their own right. But it’s the dual Ryanair Chase triumphs and the win in jumps racing’s pinnacle event — the Cheltenham Gold Cup — that the operation will arguably be most proud of in such a short period of time.

Those major successes were, of course, delivered by Allaho and A Plus Tard, with the former winning the Festival Trophy for the last two years in succession while the latter reigned supreme in the 2022 renewal of the Gold Cup after being beaten over the line in the showpiece race by his De Bromhead stablemate and rank outsider Minella Indo 12 months prior.

Both of those horses are out to defend their respective titles at the Festival next month. However, they haven’t had the preparation they would have liked before heading to Prestbury Park — as Gold Cup hero A Plus Tard pulled up on his last outing at Haydock in November and hasn’t been seen since due to a joint injury, while Allaho hasn’t been seen at all since Leopardstown last April due to a tendon injury.

As a result, A Plus Tard is as big as 8/1 with some operators to win a second Gold Cup — with Mullins’ Galopin Des Champs the favourite at odds as short as 13/8. What’s interesting, however, such is Allaho’s dominance in the Ryanair Chase — winning the last two renewals by a combined 26 lengths — that he is still the odds-on favourite to retain the trophy for a third straight year.

The other horses set to represent Cheveley Park Stud at this year’s meeting include former Champion Bumper and Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle winners Envoi Allen and Sir Gerhard. The former looks likely to head for the Ryanair Chase, where he is a 14/1 shot, while Sir Gerhard — who won his debut over fences by a huge 38 lengths last time out — appears to be being targeted at the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase by Mullins.




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