include a catch up with our sport’s biggest names Willie Mullins and Nicky Henderson as they relive their favourite Cheltenham moments, plus Cheveley Park’s Richard Thompson gives an

Welcome toThe Festival™2022 Official PreviewMagazine. This year’s event is going to be particularly special to us all as wewelcome you back to Jump racing’s biggest sporting event for the first time since 2020. The Festival™2021 produced incredible sportingmoments that will live long in thememory, however I am sure all

update on his Jump racing stars and Olympic Champion Laura Collett explains why Cheltenham and racing mean so much to her. In addition, you will be able to enjoy an interviewwith our Cheltenham Gold Cup partner Boodles’ Managing Director, Michael Wainwright, who explains his love for racing, Cheltenham and the importance of family in his business. We are delighted to be able to continue the partnership into 2022 with the national charity, WellChild whose Headquarters are based just down the road from us in Cheltenham, as we have named them as our Official Charity Partner for The Festival™. If you would like to start your Cheltenham Festival a few days earlier, then we would love for you to be able to join us on Sunday 13 March for our Official Preview Night in The Centaur, with all proceeds going toWellChild. Head to our website for more information and tickets. Finally, I would like to wish you all a wonderful time with us during The Festival™ and we look forward to the four days of extraordinary that await us. Best wishes,

whowere lucky enough to be on sitewould agree that the familiar Cheltenham roar was missed.When the gates open at 10:30amon Tuesday 15March, it will feel like the Cheltenham Festival we knowand love is well and truly back. This year’s magazine is filled with talks of last year’s triumphs including reflecting on the historic week for Henry de Bromhead who became the first trainer to win Jump racing’s holy trinity – the Unibet Champion Hurdle, the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup. An unbelievable achievement that we may not see again for a very long time, if ever. Of course, the week did belong to the Irish with their dominance making headlines, but one jockey in particular who stole the showwas Rachael Blackmore. Rachael put our sport on the front pages as she became the first female to win the Leading Jockey at The Festival™ award with six winners over the four days, a total only beaten by RubyWalsh (7 winners in 2009 and 2016). We are extremely proud to have Rachael as our ambassador, and wish her the best of luck across the four days. Highlights in this year’s previewmagazine

Ian Renton Regional Managing Director, The Jockey Club



6 PLAN YOUR DAY Festival™ highlights for you to enjoy 9 HENRY DE BROMHEAD Can the Festival™ king match his magical performance at last year’s event? We find out how he is preparing 12 WELLCHILD For the second year, The Festival™ is supporting the valliant work of the charityWellChild 14 THE PERFECT PARTNER Michael Wainwright, Managing Director of Boodles, on sponsoring the Festival™ jewel that is the Gold Cup 18 THE ORCHARD TM The premium, exclusive Festival™ experience waiting to greet racegoers with a host of luxury brands


44 CHELTENHAM CHALLENGE Amateur jockey David Maxwell talks about his ambition to ride a winner agains the pros at this year’s Festival™ 47 THE GREAT ESCAPE Equestrian Laura Collett loves working with racehorses – she tells us why 50 THE BOODLES GOLD CUP TOUR Your chance to see Jump racing’s most prestigious trophy 53 CLERK OF THE COURSE Meet Jon Pullin, the new Clerk of the Course at Cheltenham Racecourse

A guide to all the sporting action you can expect on all four days of Jump racing’s star event 34 FESTIVAL FASHION Model and Festival™ Style Ambassador Rosie Tapner shares her expertise on how to remain chic and classy rain or shine 36 The two most successful trainers in Cheltenham’s history reveal what Festival™week is like for them 40 WINNING WAYS TIME OUT WITH THE TRAINERS Richard Thompson of Cheveley Park Stud on the passion underpinning his family’s route to racing success

For ticket and hospitality pricing and to book, head online now to



Wirral CH47 4BQ Tel: 0844 545 8102 Email:

CHRISTINE BLACKFORD Managing Director RICHARD WOOLLIAMS Managing Director GARETH EVANS Creative Director FERGUS MCSHANE Senior Managing Editor OWEN MORAN Senior Designer ROBYN BARR Digital Media Manager


All details in the magazine were correct at the time of going to press. The contents of this magazine are owned by the publisher and may not be reproduced without permission. © Newhall Publishing Ltd 2022.




DAY ONE will startwith an RoR Parade at 12.15 – 12.30pm including equine superstars such as Call The Cops, Coneygree, Master Minded, Saphir Du Rheu, Thistlecrack andmore. Therewill be live music in between racing fromThe Wickermen in the BestMate

luck of the Irish of winning a spot prize. Customers will also have the chance of winning St Patrick’s Day themed prizes from the ‘Wheel of Wealth’. The Lucky 15’s will be playing all of the Irish hits, Jigs and Celtic Reels in The Guinness Village and after racingMurphy’s Marble’s will be performing in The Centaur, taking you on a journey through the ages of Celtic

Enclosure andMurphy’s Marbles in The Guinness Village. After the last race, TheWickermenwill be playing for an hour in The Centaur.

and rootmusic.

DAY FOUR The Boodles CheltenhamGold Cup headlines Day Four but there is also plenty of entertainment off the track, TheWickermen will be playing in the BestMate Enclosure in between races and then in The Centaur after the last race. The Lucky 15’s will be playing throughout the day in The Guinness Village. Throughout the four days The Hipcats will be roaming the club enclosure playing Jazz Music and On the entrances, Taylor &TheMasons will be on The Centaur Balcony andThe Celtic folk band known as the Brimstones will be on the North entrance.

DAY TWO will feature a number of Ladies showcasing their ‘Classic Race DayOutfits’ around the Parade Ring. Got2Sing a local choirwill be creating quite the atmospherewhen Racegoers enter the race course, as well as Tommy&The Fuse playing in the BestMate Enclosure throughout the day and then playing in The Centaur after the last race. DAY THREE is whenwe celebrate all things Irish!Wear green on St Patrick’s Thursday and see if you have the



For Henry de Bromhead, last year’s Cheltenham Festival was a week of previously unimagined success. Here, Nick Seddon caught up with the County Waterford trainer to find out how he is preparing for the most important week of this year… THE 2021 FEST I VAL KING HenrydeBromhead

I t is difficult to summarise just howmagical the 2021 CheltenhamFestival was for Henry de Bromhead’s Knockeen Racing operation. As records tumbled and big racewinner followed big racewinner, even the trainer himself could scarcely believewhat hewas seeing. Twelve months later, de Bromhead is still pinching himself after the historic feat of winning the Unibet Champion Hurdle, the BetwayQueenMother

Champion Chase and the CheltenhamGold Cup all in the sameweek. Any trainerwill tell you that training even just onewinner at The Festival™ is an impressive feat,which itself provides context for de Bromhead’s tally of sixwinners last year. On Gold Cupmorning, de Bromhead stood in the centre of the Cheltenham track and beamed from ear to ear as he spoke to ITVRacing andThe Jockey Club’s social media channels. His Festival week had been



“We go therewith a freshmindset. Last yearwas an incredible year, but it doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen again”

finallymade it to racing’s top table, it has been the culmination of a steady journey to the summit for the Irishman,who certainly has plenty of racing pedigree. His father Harrywas a racehorse trainerwhomixed trainingwith farming and is perhaps best known for winning the Pertemps Final with Fissure Seal in 1993. When the opportunity presented itself for son Henry to take over hewas initially reluctant, but explains it was ultimately something he felt he had to try. He said: “I was always mad keen on racing but I’d seen howhard itwas formy father. I had a firm look at all the various options in the racing industry and probably tried to avoid training for awhile! “I spent some timeworking for SirMark Prescott and at Coolmore,whichwas interesting, but eventually I felt itwas something I had to go and trymyself. My father

“unbelievable” and “hard to comprehend”, he said. In truth, the cherry on the top of the icing on a very luxurious cakewas still to comewhen, around eight hours later, Minello Indo led home stablemate APlus Tard for a 1-2 in Jump racing’s most prestigious race, the CheltenhamGold Cup. “Itwas just incredible and something you dreamof,” he tells me as we sit down to reminisce one year on. “You just need everything to go right for aweek like that to happen. It’s funny, as we had plenty of others thatwere probably a little unlucky and things just didn’t quite work out for them. Itwas just one of thoseweeks where things were landing right for us.” Last year’s Festival got off to the perfect start for de Bromhead,with Honeysuckle’s victory in the first ‘Championship race’ of theweek, the Unibet Champion

was ill at the time and he said hewas going to finish up, so itwas just a case of either giving it a go or not.” Starting outwith a teamof just 12 horses, never in his wildest dreams did de Bromhead envisage being where he is now. He said: “You dreamof winning these races that I’vewonwhen you start off but I don’t think I ever thought I would do it. “When I started the aimwas just to train awinner andwe

Hurdle. And like plenty before him, getting that firstwinner on the board calmed the nerves more than anything. He explained: “Therewas definitely a sense of relief when Honeysucklewon the Unibet Champion Hurdle. “I always go hoping to get onewinner and anything else is a bonus. Just getting your horses there is a big part of it.” While last year’s Festival might be seen by some as the moment de Bromhead



went from there.We had a great start, then dipped a bit from around 2004 to 2008, then started building after that. Thankfully,we’ve been on an upward trajectory ever since.” Things are rarely black andwhite, butwhen asked to pinpoint a definingmoment, de Bromhead picks out his first Festival victory – Sizing Europe’s success in the 2010Arkle Trophy. He said: “Sizing Europewinningwas absolutely massive. To have our first Grade Onewinnerwas a really bigmoment for us and hewas an incredible horse to have – but I’mnot sure if you ever feel as though you’ve broken through. I still don’t! EveryMay you go back to zero and start again, so it’s a funny old game.” Thosewhowork in horseracing so often eat, sleep and drink the sport and de Bromhead admits he is no different. Abrief discussion about the filmwhich inspired the name behind his brilliantwinner of last year’s Parnell Properties Mares’ Novices Hurdle, Telmesomethingirl, is enough to establish that popular culture is a furlong or two outside his comfort zone. But the 49 year old does have sporting interests outside of racing. He explained: “However stressed I get training horses, you canmultiply that by 10when I’m playing golf! I play a bit of tennis, plus I have three great kids and I lovewatching themdo their sports. “I’m lucky that racing is away of life and you have to love it to be in this game. There are plenty of bad days and stress, but I’mvery fortunate to be able to do something that I love doing. I work with great people andmeet great people, sowe’re very lucky to bewherewe are at the moment.” De Bromhead adds that his children – twins Jack and Mia,who are 12, and Georgia,who turned 11 at the end of February – are all showing a passion for horses, but insists there is no pressure on them tomove into the sport. He goes on: “The kids are definitely into their horses and are all mad into their show jumping. “Jack is doing some pony racing at the moment,which he loves, sowe’ll seewhat happens. I wouldn’t like to push them into racing, though, sowe’ll see how it unfolds for them, but they love the show jumping and pony racing and they’re gettingmore into their racing.” As for his own immediate future,while de Bromhead might be entitled to be brimmingwith confidence in the build-up to this year’s Festival he is typically understated. “Onewinner is always the target,” he explains. “If we can get onewinnerwe’re absolutely delighted and anything after that is a bonus. That being said, I wouldn’t like to tar any of my horses with the brush of sayingwho has the best chance! “We go therewith a freshmindset. Last yearwas an incredible year, but just because it happened doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen again. This year is another year andwe go again.”



For the second year, WellChild, the national charity for seriously ill children, is our charity partner for The Festival™ and we are hoping the racing community will again show its amazing support for this vital cause The Festival SUPPORTING

T he fantastic support of The Jockey Club and the racing community is making a real difference to the workWellChild does for complex needs children and their families all across the UK. WellChild helps families like Gloucestershire based, Roxanne, Darrell and their children, including three-year-old son, Kobie. Shortly after Kobie was born, routine tests showed abnormalities and he also started struggling to feed. Many health professionals tried to diagnose him without success. Kobie is what’s known as a swan child – a child who has a syndrome without a name. Kobie was kept in hospital but caught bronchiolitis and started struggling to breathe. It was a frightening time for the family as he was intubated and transferred to Bristol Children’s Hospital Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. Dad, Darrell, was driving back and forth every day to visit as well as looking after their other three children. The family were put in touch with Gloucestershire’s WellChild Nurse, Nina. She helped the family in many ways, including coordinating as many as 15 hospital appointments in one week, and all the health professionals involved with Kobie’s care. Kobie’s dad

Darrell, said: “Nina came at a time we needed her to take the pressure off us. I can’t thank her enough. Nina is just a light that shined when we were in the dark.” Kobie’s complex requirements mean his parents must make difficult decisions that often lead to disappointment for the family. The Covid-19 pandemic made it more difficult for Kobie’s family to do things together, with family visits and holidays cancelled. Families caring for a child with serious health needs can often feel isolated and alone. TheWellChild Family Tree connects families from across the UK for mutual advice, support and friendship. This is where Kobie’s parents heard about Giddy Up for Good organised by WellChild, The Jockey Club and Cotswold Riding for the Disabled. The Giddy Up for Good event in the summer was the first time that Kobie and his three sisters had been able to take part in an activity together. The impact of The Jockey Club andWellChild partnership has been enormous, with funds raised supporting the continuation and development of the vital Family Tree network and online information and support, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.


“TheWellChild FamilyTree connects families formutual advice, support and friendship”

WellChild, which has the Duke of Sussex as its patron, is delighted to be in partnership with The Jockey Club for The Festival™ for the second year running. WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer said: “We are delighted to be working with The Jockey Club again this year as Official Charity Partner of the Cheltenham Festival 2022. We would like to thank The Jockey Club and everyone involved with The Festival™ for the energy, enthusiasm and hard work they have put into including WellChild in this year’s event and supporting our work with seriously ill children and their families. “In fact, we would like to thank the entire racing community – from owners and jockeys through to racing fans everywhere, for the huge boost they are giving to families with complex needs children. Times have been very tough this year for the families we support and those difficult days look set to continue. Thanks to you we can offer hope and practical help to them as they carry on the struggle to support the children they love.” Last year’s partnership between The Jockey Club and WellChild proved an amazing success with more than £200,000 raised for the charity’s work with seriously ill children and their families in the UK.

IMPACTS I N 2020/21

WellChild Nurses supported more than 2,700 children and young people 1,429 families were directly supported through WellChild’s Covid-19 Direct Response Service 289,000 items of PPE were distributed Vital online resources were accessed more than 57,000 times






Texts will cost the donation amount plus one standard network rate message.

For more options to support WellChild’s work, and to learn how you can make a long-lasting difference for thousands of families across the UK, please visit



Yasmin and Amber Le Bon wear Raindance


Michael Wainwright, Managing Director of Boodles talking, family, business and sponsoring Jump Racing’s crown jewel The perfect partner

E stablished in 1855 in Liverpool byWilliam Wainwright, Boodles is a family business that can be found in some of the most desirable postcodes across the country.With a store on Bond Street and its original Head Office still on the corner of Lord Street and North John Street in Liverpool, Boodles jewellery has forever been synonymous with elegance and luxury. One such prestigious postcode is GL50, as the Boodles name has been sewn intoThe Festival™ fabric for nearly a decade; with sponsorship of the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle and a boutique store in The Orchard™making their brand a familiar sight for racegoers since 2013. This year, for the first time, Boodles is extending its sponsorship to take the biggest jewel in Cheltenham’s crown, The Gold Cup. When a gem as rare and precious as the Cheltenham Gold Cup becomes available, it takes a discerning jeweller’s eye and a lifetime’s expertise to recognise its worth, and a business that is fleet of foot to secure it. Fortunately forMichaelWainwright, Managing Director of Boodles, his business partner of over 38 years and Boodles Chairman, is his brother, Nicholas. Relying on their guaranteed daily calls, the brothers’ management style is as close as they are. So,whenMichael was presentedwith the opportunity for Boodles to sponsor the Gold Cup, hewas able to discuss, consider, and close the deal in under 24 hours. ForMichael, Boodles’ sponsorship of the Gold Cup marks another, natural progression in his horseracing story. Michael has been attending The Festival™ in one way or another since hewas 18 and considers it one of the highlights of his year. Avaluedmember of the



be competent andwilling to ‘get on’. Therefore, every relation employed in the business is an undisputed expert in their own area, and each gives room for the others to excel in theirs. Now, at the age of 45, Nicholas’ son, Jody, is aworld- leading expert in diamonds. He is known and trusted across the globe to source stones for the most discerning clients. Knowing exactlywhat is on the market, and likelywhat is not, Jody is able to provide his clients with rare insight into the industry and guide and support in sourcing their perfect stone. His great passion is in finding truly remarkable diamonds and placing themwith their perfect partner. Michael’s nephew, and Jody’s cousin, James, meanwhile, has been part of the Boodles business for some twenty years. As theMarketing Director, next only toMichael, he is perhaps the best known of the family at Cheltenham, as he is responsible for all brand exposure, onsite, online and in print. James knows that regular gentle reminders and positive brand associations, such as sponsorship at The Festival™ enhance the Boodles overall brand recognition and place it front of mind for clients when they are ready tomake their next purchase.

Racecourse Committee, Michael nowattends The Festival™ in an official capacity, as well as an owner, sponsor, and passionate racegoer. The decision to sponsorThe Gold Cupwas just as straightforward for Nicholas as itwas forMichael, in spite of his less passionate affinity for horseracing. Both brothers are acutely aware and fiercely proud of the Britishness of both the Boodles brand and its loyal customer base. They recognise their business’ synergy with The Gold Cup and its audience, and know that at its heart, this partnership brings together two leviathans, from a small number of truly British brands. Michael recognises that having a close family business can be a bit like amarriage; it can be fantastic, but you have to bewilling towork at it. He is a firmbeliever that the key to successful multi-generational businesses is in keeping things tight. The Boodles shareholders are deliberately limited to participatingmembers of the family. Now in its sixth generation, the current shareholders bought out familymembers not actively involved, ensuring that the future remained safely in the hands of thosewho live andworkwithin it, every day. Equally, Michael insists that those familymembers who choose to be part of the Boodles business must




“For the first time, Boodles is extending its sponsorship to take the biggest jewel in Cheltenham’s crown, The Gold Cup”

of life. Business doesn’t stop, evenwhen he’s away from the office, because his passion is as great today as itwas when he joined the business. This year, Michael might switch off frombusiness, just momentarily,when hewatches the inaugural Boodles’ Gold Cup.When pressed, he might say that he fancies BarryMaloney’s Minella Indo for it, because of proven formover 3 miles 2 furlongs and at Cheltenham to boot, but he might also stress that if any of us already knew thewinner,we’d have no need of work.Whilst with his owner’s hat on, Michael acknowledges that he himself might have a Festival™horse in the making. His French-bred Ga Law is going to be one towatch for next season, he verymuch hopes. As the build forThe Festival™picks up pace, the boutique Boodles store in The Orchard™ is beginning to take shape. Michael knows thatmany clients would rather visit Boodles at The Festival™ than one of the brand’s shops, so ensures their experience is equally refined in The Orchard™home-away-from-home. While The Orchard™boutique is a familiar sight for racegoers, the Boodles Gold Cup finishing line is, as yet, unseen.Whether it is to be viewed live, on the big screen, or on the small screen at home, this particular crown jewel is guaranteed to draw the eye of all.

Most recently, Michael’s daughter, Honour, joined the family business. Passionate about environmentally sustainable and ethical business practices, she represents the voice of the next generation of both jewellers and customers. At 26, Honour is the youngest member of the family currently in the business. She is also the first femaleWainwright employed in Boodles’ long history; a factwhich gives her father great pride. Nicholas andMichael know that the future of the business will be safe in the hands of Honour, Jody, James, and their childrenwhen their time comes. It is Honour’s twin brother, Geordie, however,who has inherited his father’s love of horseracing. Although currently employed outside the family business, Geordie has long expressed keen interested in joining his sister and cousins in the business in the not too distant future. He is the one most likely to take the reins fromMichael in continuing the Boodles partnershipwith The Festival™ in the years to come, but for now, he is content to enjoy his racing as a punter, just as his father did before him. That is not to say thatMichael has any intention of handing over the Boodles reins to pursue a quiet retirement at any time soon. For him, being the Managing Director of Boodles is not a job, but away



The Orchard™ is a premium and unparalled experience that hosts a range of luxury brands for racegoers to soak up while enjoying four extraordinary days of Jump racing THE ORCHARD ™

BENTLEY Bentley Motors was founded in 1919 byWO Bentley. From the beginning, Bentley’s extraordinary cars have been designed and built by exceptional people using the finest of materials. The Bentley area within The Orchard™will immerse you in the future of the extraordinary journey, communicating the magical infusion of craftsmanship, innovation and sustainability.

The Orchard™, available to Club Enclosure ticket holders, including hospitality guests, owners and trainers and Cheltenham annual members, delivers premium experiences for racegoers to make the most of their day at The Festival.

ANA DE COSTA Ana de Costa blurs the boundaries between fine jewellery and art and redefines the way fine jewellery is designed and worn. Ana’s work is commissioned by clients including movie stars and royal families. She is delighted to be showcasing her collections in The Orchard™ andwill be unveiling her new designs, all available to purchase during The Festival.

BOODLES Boodles is a British fine jeweller with a committed focus to achieving excellence in all facets of design, craftsmanship and service. Boodles is showcasing a range of its products, available to purchase – it’s a great place to visit after placing a winning bet!

ACCOLADE WINES AccoladeWines will feature 16 wines from its iconic, award-winning portfolio, including Houghton Jack Mann Cabernet, Petaluma Yellow Label Hanlin Hill Riesling and Grant Burge Meshach Shiraz. Racegoers can enjoy a masterclass and purchase its collections. AccoladeWines represents some of the most respected wineries in Australia.




PARFUMS DE MARLY Parfums de Marly draws its inspiration from the century that celebrated the pinnacle of French elegance: the 18th, the reign of perfume. It was founded in 2009 by Julien Sprecher, whose love of perfume was passed down from his father. He was also influenced by the history of the palace and gardens of Versailles, near to where he was born and raised. Each scent is a personal olfactory experience.

THE F ITZDARES CLUB The Fitzdares Club was created as a pop-up in 2018 for fans to watch live sport in comfort and luxury. As it moved across London’s most exclusive clubs, its popularity grew and so did the need for a permanent location. In 2020, it settled in Mayfair and there’s no better place to savour delicious food, wine and, most crucially, sport. Nine state-of-the-art televisions show sport through the day, with our Racing Room devoted to the Sport of Kings. The Fitzdares Club Partners Bar is an invitation-only area within The Orchard™. GLENFARCLAS Glenfarclas is a family-run business, creating whisky for over 150 years and renowned for its Highland Single Malt ScotchWhisky. Glenfarclas provides The Orchard™ at The Cheltenham Festival with a cocktail bar, offering a variety of whisky cocktails available to Club enclosure racegoers.

AIR CHARTER SERVICE Air Charter Service, the largest private charter brokerage in the world, is supporting The Festival™ heli-pad. It offers helicopters, private jets and executive airline charters, as well as a huge range of small specialist aircraft for all business and leisure purposes.

NYETIMBER For a glass of world-renowned English sparkling wine, make Nyetimber’s beautifully reimagined vintage Routemaster bus a must-visit destination at Cheltenham. Stop by and enjoy its range of sparkling wines, including Classic Cuvée MV, Rosé MV, Blanc de Blancs 2014 or Cuvée Chérie MV. Savour the wine on the top deck of the bus overlooking the racecourse, or in the beautifully decorated garden area. Nyetimber is a pioneer of the English sparkling wine industry, being the first to plant the three celebrated grape varieties at the estate in 1988. It now has 11 estate-owned vineyards, spanningWest Sussex, Hampshire and Kent.

To find out more about The Orchard™ visit – The Orchard™ | Plan Your Day | The Cheltenham Festival (




THE FESTIVAL THE These four days are in every sport’s fans diary, it is the pinnacle of Jump racing, it is live sport at its best, and it is – The Festival™

W henwe hear that roar once again at 1:30pm on Tuesday 15 March, itwill feel like everything is how it should be. Thosewho love Cheltenhammost will have returned, andwewill be set for four extraordinary days of

sporting action. From the Sky Bet Supreme to theMartin Pipe on Friday, the action never stops. The Festival™ is full of the thrills and spills that every sports fan loves, with fairy tales coming true and an atmosphere like no other in one of the greatest theatres.




THE F E S T I VAL™ 15-18 MARCH 2022

The roar of the crowd returns for an action-packed first day of The Festival™ with a seven-race card that looks set to start proceedings in style with four Grade One races DAY THREE FOUR TW ONE

A s any racing fanwill tell you, the countdown to The Festival™ is one like no other and this year those lucky enough to have tickets have good reason to be excited. Covid-19 meant the 2021 Cheltenham Festival was staged behind closed doors, andwhile the drama played out in front of eerily quiet grandstands 12 months ago, the roar thatwill greet the tape going up for the first race on Tuesday 15 Marchwill be heard far andwide. Day one of Jump racing’s ‘Olympics’ begins in style, with four Grade One contests across the seven-race card. The feature race is the Unibet Champion Hurdle, a two-mile contest and the first of five ‘Championship’ races to take place over the four days. The ultimate test of speed, the Champion Hurdle boasts an impressive roll of honour: Hardy Eustace, Hurricane Fly, See You Then, Sea Pigeon, Hatton’s Grace, Night Nurse, Monksfield – the list really is exhaustive. Last year’s renewal saw a newname on the trophy in the unbeaten Honeysuckle, who notched a scarcely believable 11th straight victory under Rules when striking for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael

Honeysuckle never ceases to amaze me. I’m not saying I would have predicted that but she is an incredible mare.” Run over the same distance as the Unibet Champion Hurdle, the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is a race that regularly produces a star of the future. Last year’s winner, Appreciate It, is no different and is considered one of the main dangers to Honeysuckle’s bid for sporting history. The Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase regularly serves as an express route to the following year’s Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, which last year’s Arklewinner, Shishkin, will be hoping to prove onWednesday. The final Grade One contest of the day is renowned for producing sporting drama. The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle made headlines in 2015 when Annie Power’s fall at the final flight denied punters a pay-out thatwould have cost bookmakers in the region of £50million. One final flight spill at The Festival™ is enough for any of us, but in the same colours of Rich Ricci and representing trainerWillie Mullins, RubyWalsh parted companywith Benie Des Dieux in almost identical circumstances four years later.

Blackmore – who bothwent on to enjoy huge success throughout theweek. Honeysuckle’s unbeaten run now stands at 14 and the eight-year-old has not only established herself as one of the finest hurdlers this century but as a household name too. This year shewill bid to join an elite club of just 15 horses to havewon the race more than once. The fact that Honeysuckle became only the sixth mare towin the Champion Hurdle last year just adds to the magic, andwhen speaking after the race 12 months ago, trainer de Bromhead could barely hide his delight. He said: “It’s amazing. Rachael is as good as any of them. Male, female – she is as good as any of the guys. I’m ecstatic with the result but I’m delighted for them. “HONEYSUCKLE HAS NOTONLY ESTABLISHED HERSELFASONE OFTHE FINEST HURDLERS BUT ASAHOUSEHOLD NAMETOO”



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THE F E S T I VAL™ 15-18 MARCH 2022

If Tuesday of The Festival™ is about setting the scene for four days of extraordinary racing, day two is synonymous with sensational sport – at speed. DAY THREE FOUR ONE TW TW

F ew races on the British Jump racing calendar capture fans’ imagination quite like the feature race of the day, the Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase. Run over a distance of two miles, the Grade One contest requires a blend of speed and inch-perfect precisionwhen meeting each of the 13 fences at rapid pace on Cheltenham’s Old Course. This demanding checklist means that winning the race on multiple occasions is not uncommon and famous multiple winners of the trophy include legends of the sport like Altior, Sprinter Sacre, Master Minded, MoscowFlyer and Viking Flagship. Put The Kettle Onwas the latest to etch her name into the history books 12 months ago, when becoming the first mare towin the iconic race for trainer Henry de Bromhead. The mare has an uncanny knack for emerging victorious at Cheltenham – winning four of her five starts there – though if she is to become amultiple winner shewill have to defeat one of the strongest ever line-ups. Indeed, Put The Kettle On’s opponents are set to include the likes of fellow Irish competitors Chacun Pour Soi and Energumene, while last year’s Arkle hero Shishkin bids to secure a seventh careerwin in the race for Nicky

he afforded him the highest of praise by likening him to Altior and Sprinter Sacre. Speaking after the Clarence House Chase victory, he said: “How lucky can you be?We came through the great days when Sprinter Sacrewon it and then Altior followed him, so it is extraordinary to think you can find another one. He has got a longway to go before he comes into the same breath as the two of them

Henderson. Shishkin has already shared the ring oncewith Energumene this season, emerging triumphant in a stunning renewal of the Clarence House Chase at Ascot in January and hewill bid to emulate Put The Kettle On in becoming the 12th Arklewinner to be crowned Champion Chaser the following year. He is the apple of Henderson’s eye, and 12 months ago



does not involve obstacles – regularly go on to become household names and one manwho it has paid to follow in this contest isWillie Mullins.With 78winners at the March showpiece to his name and counting, he is the most successful trainer of all-time at The Festival™, with no fewer than 11 of those in this race. AsWednesday draws to a close andwe reach the half-way stage of The Festival™, it’s as much about looking forward to two more days of extraordinary racing as it is looking back at the 14 thrilling races we have already enjoyed.

Course – and victory this yearwould see him become only the second horse in history towin six times at The Festival™, after the great Quevega. Wednesday begins with back-to-back Grade One contests, with the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and the Brown Advisory Novices’ Steeple Chase. Both races are renowned for producing stars of the future – a themewhich continues to the finale, the Grade OneWeatherbys Champion Bumper. Winners of theWeatherbys Champion Bumper – the only race of theweek which

but you couldn’t have asked him to do anymore than that today.” Meanwhile, it is impossible to talk about day twowithout mentioning one of the sport’s poster boys, Tiger Roll. He may be best known to the British public as a two-time Randox Grand National winner, but the legend of the track has won at an astonishing five Cheltenham Festivals. His two most recent Festival successes have come in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase in 2019 and 2021 – which is staged on Cheltenham’s unique Cross Country


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THE F E S T I VAL™ 15-18 MARCH 2022 DAY

FOUR ONE TWO THREE Every headline act needs a good supporting cast and if Cheltenham Gold Cup Day is the big hitter of The Festival™, then there couldn’t be a better precursor than action-packed ‘St Patrick’s Thursday’ A ny regular Cheltenham-goer will tell you that four-days of extraordinary simplywould not be as extraordinarywithout Irish Stayers’ Hurdle. Taking place one after the other in quick succession this means that the only people busier than the bar staff in the Guinness Village maybe an hour before and in fairness to Jonathan Moore he gave me every little bit of information he had about the horse. Credit to him as he knewhewasn’t in

good shape in the morning and that’s the mark of a great man thatwants everything to gowell. I’d say two per cent of the success is down to me and 98 per cent is Jonny, Gavin and all the team.” Flooring Porterwill be back to defend his crown, though itwould be some story if hewas thwarted by the 2019 hero Paisley Park, who looked back to his very bestwhen sealing an emotional success for Aidan Coleman and Emma Lavelle here on Festival Trials Day in January. The supporting Grade One Turners Novices’ Chase and the Grade Two Parnell Properties Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle will offer plenty of chances for Britain to exact equine revenge over the Irish contingent.Win, lose or draw though, day three of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival is definitely St Patrick’s Day.

are the jockeys themselves. Allaho produced one of the

participation both on and off the track and day three of The Festival™ is one big celebration of that. It does not always fall on St Patrick’s Day, of course, though it does in 2022 and this special moment has a line-up to match, with two ‘Championship’ races on the card. Both the Ryanair Chase and the Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle have a distinctly Irish feel to them too, both being sponsored by businesses across thewater that have loyally supported The Festival™ for years. With 23 of last year’s 28 Festival winners coming from Irish yards, Britain’s trainers will be determined not to let their Irish counterparts stomp all over them in quite the same fashion ever again. However, it is hard to see how such superiority can be reversedwithin 12 months and Thursday of The Festival™ usually gives thosewho follow the standings for the Prestbury Cup – the week-long British versus Irish competition – a good feel forwhere the trophymight be heading. Thursday’s card is unique in that it is the only one across the four days to feature two ‘Championship’ races, the Ryanair Chase and the Paddy Power

performances of last year’s Festival whenwinning the Ryanair Chase by some 12 lengths last year under Rachael Blackmore, but the story of the day camewhen a lesser-known trainer in Gavin Cromwell watched his Flooring Porter sweep to Paddy Power Stayer Hurdle glory. The seven-year-old made every single yardwith a swashbuckling display, made even more remarkable by the fact that his jockey DannyMullins was an 11th-hour stand-in after the desperately unlucky Jonathan Moore had stood himself down due to injury. The rest, as they say, is history and Mullins could barely believe that he had ridden his first ever Festival winner. He beamed: “It’s fantastic. I got the call-up






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THE F E S T I VAL™ 15-18 MARCH 2022 DAY ONE TWO THREE FOUR N o Jumps race staged anywhere in theworld is more prestigious than the Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup. No surprise, then, Finally the climax of this exhilarating four-day event, which includes the much anticipated Boodles Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase

that two years after racegoers were last on course towatch it, tickets for this race day sold out before the end of January for the first time ever. Such is the anticipation to seewho will follow in the footsteps of some of the sport’s greatest equine names, this really is the hottest ticket in town. Gold Cup Day brings the Cheltenham Festival to a gripping crescendo and is, for many, the climax that thewhole season has been building towards. Ask any Jump jockey, trainer or owner the one race theywant on their CV and their answerwill be the same. Because, while the Grand National is an iconic spectacle, the Cheltenham Gold Cup brings the very best together to compete for the most prestigious prize of them all. Racing analysts will use the term ‘Championship’ pacewhen talking about the big races at The Festival™ and that rings particularly truewith the Boodles Gold Cup, testing the mettle of stayers looking to step up to the big league by seeing if they can add substance to their stamina over the three and a quarter mile trip. And perhaps the most significant statistic to demonstrate howhard the

last season. Hewill be hoping to exact revenge on that rival this year but perhaps the most interesting sub-plot will be the fortunes of the Henry de Bromhead runners, A Plus Tard and Minella Indo. Rachael Blackmore’s 2021 Festival will never be forgotten, but she was on thewrong horse in last year’s Gold Cup, finishing second as Jack Kennedy took the spoils. A Plus Tard has since gone on to record a stunning victory in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park and all eyes will be on

race is towin is that only eight horses have been successful more than once since it was first run back in 1924. Legends to have repeated the feat include Kauto Star in 2007 and 2009 – the only horse to regain the Gold Cup; Best Mate in 2002, 2003 and 2004; L’Escargot in 1970 and 1971; Arkle in 1964, 1965 and 1966, and Golden Miller in 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935 and 1936. The most recent to retain the coveted trophywas Al Boum Photowho, after triumphing in 2019 and 2020, went on to finish third to the brilliant Minella Indo



2021, this season’s renewal will be eagerly anticipated by everyone taking part. It is then the responsibility of the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle to bring the curtain down on Jump racing’s ‘Olympics’, leaving racegoers to reflect on theweek that was and theweek that might be in 2023. Because, whether you are there to witness it or simplywatching from the comfort of your own home, the final runner passing thewinning post signals not only the end of four days of extraordinary racing, but also the beginning of a 12-month countdown…

JCB Triumph Hurdle, a racewhich has a history of producing thrilling finishes and stars of the future in equal measure. Also on the card is the St James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Steeple Chase, which follows the Boodles Gold Cup and mightwell receive one of the biggest cheers of theweek in 2022. The race is known as the ‘Gold Cup for amateur riders’ due to being run over the same distance as the feature contest. It channels a traditional Corinthian spirit which very fewother sports are able to replicate, andwith the pandemic preventing amateurs from competing in

which horse Blackmore picks to partner, a decision trainer de Bromhead insists hewill not get involved in. Referring to Blackmore’s tough call last year he said: “She did have the choice of the two. I would always try to stay out of that as I would hate to put her thewrongway. Everyone has been asking me that before the race. I couldn’t split them. I just let her do it and I don’t like to interfere on that. She knew theywere both trainingwell.” While day four of The Festival™might be misconstrued by some as being all about one race, nothing could further from the truth. Friday begins with the Grade One




Your guide to Festival fashion with The Festival™ Style Ambassador Rosie Tapner Festival fashion


We caught up with model and TV presenter Rosie Tapner, this year’s Style Ambassador, to talk all things Festival fashion. Whether you’re a Cheltenham veteran or a race day rookie, we’ve got you covered.

Planning your outfit for Cheltenham is all part of the experience. Thankfully, there’s space for everyone’s fashion flair at The Festival. ‘It’s unlike any other festival. It’s extremely inclusive when it comes to style, so you never have to worry about if you’ve got the dress code right. Here’s what Rosie says will make you a festival hit. “A smart pair of trousers, some long boots, a nice jumper - I always go for a roll neck jumper - a tweed jacket and finally top it off with a hat. But most of all, dress for the weather! It can be cold at Cheltenham and there’s nothing worse than having to sit inside all day because you didn’t layer up.”


When it comes to Festival trends. There’s a lot to think about. The perfect hat, the right shoes, the list goes on. But Rosie says it’s all down to you. “My favourite thing about the Cheltenham Festival style is that it’s very much up to the individual and how they like to dress. And it’s timeless. So if you’ve been before, you’ve probably got the perfect outfit tucked away in your wardrobe.” With so much to see and do at The Festival, lots of walking is inevitable. That’s why Rosie says ‘comfort comes before anything.’ And while style is personal, there are some safer options for race day. “I’d opt for a long boot, either flat or with a small heel. With hats, the fedora is the perfect choice. It’s classic, warm and far less likely to blow away than a big fancy hat!”


You don’t get very far without spotting a glamorous hat at Cheltenham. It’s festival fashion epitomised. But how do you choose the right one? “For me, it’s something smart and understated. And something very country! I love a simple fedora with some feathers.” But it doesn’t have to be just hats. “This year, I think we’ll be seeing a lot more headbands. You can get really lovely ones with feathers and all sorts which end up looking like a beautiful hat but much easier to wear.”


IT’S FOR EVERYONE And finally for Rosie, Cheltenham fashion means, ‘‘It means classy, warm, comfortable and most of all being yourself. One thing about the Cheltenham Festival is that it’s for everyone. You don’t have to fall into a dress code and be the same as everyone else, you can verymuch make it your own. So turn up, be comfy, be yourself, bewarm and enjoy yourself!’ “I’d opt for a long boot, either flat orwith a small heel. With hats, the fedora is the perfect choice”



Time out with the trainers

Every trainer dreams of saddling a winner at The Festival™ and while many leading names are waiting for their first, Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins have 147 between them. They may be on different teams when it comes to contesting the Prestbury Cup for Great Britain and Ireland, but the two most successful trainers in Cheltenham’s history are friends away from the racecourse. Nick Seddon joined them to find out what the week is like for a top trainer…

Johnny Francombe was due to ride him and he got hurt in the Arkle. I went into the weighing room and the only guy that was in there was my dear old friend Steve Smith Eccles. He’d ridden for me in the past and we’d fallen in and out of love many times by then. He wasn’t riding for me at the time but I didn’t have any other option! He went on to win three Champion Hurdles on him, so that’s fate for you. WM My first winner as a trainer was Tourist Attraction in the 1995 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. She was owned by the North Kildare Racing Club, which was an amalgamation of the rugby club. They were lots of fun to have there on the day and as you can imagine there were some pretty major celebrations when she won at something like 25-1! Mark Dwyer rode her and he rode a good bit for my father, so there were lots of nice crossovers and of course winning a race like that was a huge moment for the yard too.

Do you have a routine for a day at The Festival™ and how different is that to a ‘normal’ day when you’re racing? NH It’s definitely different. Nowadays I start by doing a talk for my sponsors first, but it’s a very difficult week for socialising. You don’t get much respite and I don’t do things like lunch at Cheltenham because you’re just not in the mood for it. I’m very superstitious though. There used to be a manhole cover where I’d watch every race going back to the See You Then years. They left it there when they built the new stand, but unfortunately you can’t see over the top of the side of the new stand so I don’t use it anymore! WM Not really. Basically I just arrive as late as I can in the run-up to the first race and then it’s non-stop after that. I don’t get a chance for a cup of tea unless I get one during a race and we just tend to work all the way through as we usually have runners in every single race. Unlike Nicky, I’m not superstitious. I don’t have any favourite

What makes The Festival™ so special? Nicky Henderson There’s nothing else like it. The atmosphere is special at Cheltenham but I must say they have done a great job at Aintree too. This is the golden apple for both owners and trainers and if you’ve missed Cheltenham you’ve had it! Willie Mullins I think it’s probably the rivalry between Ireland and the UK and the fact that it has always been considered the pinnacle of the National Hunt season. It’s the Olympics of our sport, and it’s the nearest thing to a match that you’ll find between the Irish and the Brits – and now the French are joining in too! Who was your first Cheltenham Festival winner and what do you remember about the day? NH It was See You Then in the 1985 Champion Hurdle. We’d started in 1978 and I was very naïve and didn’t have a clue what I was doing – I was just very lucky that I had such a good horse.


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