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100 Favourite Horses - the ultimate poll: Hail those we love the most; You've cast your votes - now we begin the countdown of your favourites.



Br g 1965

Raincheck - Pongo's Fancy

Owner Bill Edwards-Heathcote Trainer Fred Winter Jockeys Paul Kelleway, John Francome (Richard Pitman)* Record (jumps) 34 wins from 51 starts

Career highlights Won 1970 Gloucestershire

Hurdle (Div 2), Benson & Hedges Hurdle, 1971 Champion Hurdle, Welsh Champion Hurdle, Ackermann Skeaping Trophy, 1972 Champion Hurdle, Cheltenham Trial Hurdle, 1973 Black & White Whisky Gold Cup, 1975 Blue Circle Cement Chase, 1976 Gainsborough Chase

Why we love him A remarkably consistent, versatile and durable jumper, in the top flight for eight seasons; a dual wide-margin Champion Hurdle winner (he dethroned Persian War) who was also third in one Gold Cup and favourite for another; a great champion with a superb turn of foot which enabled him to win his first 13 races; usually held up for a powerful late run.

Bula: the model of consistency


Norton's Coin

Ch g 1981

Mount Cassino - Grove Chance

Owner-trainer Sirrell Griffiths

Jockeys Graham McCourt (Richard Dunwoody)

Record (jumps) 6 wins from 32 starts

Career highlights

Won 1989 South Wales Showers Silver Trophy, 1990 Cheltenham Gold Cup, 1991 South Wales Showers Silver Trophy

Why we love him Earned his place in racing folklore when producing biggest shock in

Gold Cup history with 100-1 success in 1990 (the odds-on Desert Orchid was third); humble antecedents gave victory a fairytale air - he was trained by a 50-year-old Welsh farmer who handled just three horses under permit and rode Norton's Coin out every morning, despite weighing in at 15st 7lb, after milking his cattle.

Norton's Coin: 100-1 Cheltenham win was biggest shocker in Gold Cup history


See You Then

Br g 1980, Royal Palace - Melodina

Owner Stype Wood Stud Trainer

Nicky Henderson (Con Collins)

Jockeys Steve Smith Eccles

(Tommy Carmody, John Francome)

Record (jumps)

10 wins from 19 starts

Career highlights Won 1984 Corsa di Siepi dei Quattro Anni, HSS Hire Shops Hurdle, 1985 Champion Hurdle, 1986 Oteley Hurdle, Champion Hurdle, 1987 De Vere Hotels Hurdle, Champion Hurdle; 2nd 1984 Triumph Hurdle

Why we love him One of only five horses to win the Champion Hurdle three times, though fortunate that Browne's Gazette presented him with his first victory and never truly captured public's imagination at the time; overcame problems with fragile legs which restricted his appearances (he was nicknamed `See You When') and prevented his becoming an even bigger favourite; had a Derby winner's pedigree and a fine turn of foot.

See You Then: fragile legs did not stop him joining the elite group of three-time Champion Hurdle winners


Spanish Steps

B g 1963

Flush Royal - Tiberetta

Owner-breeder-trainer Edward Courage Jockeys John Cook (John Buckingham, Geordie Mawson, Bill Smith, Philip Blacker) Record (jumps) 16 wins from 78 starts

Career highlights Won 1968 Black & White Whisky Gold Cup, 1969 Totalisator Champion Novices' Chase, Hennessy Gold Cup, Benson & Hedges Gold Cup, 1970 Gainsborough Chase, 1971 Stone's Ginger Wine Chase, SGB Chase; 2nd 1971 King George VI Chase; 3rd 1970 Cheltenham Gold Cup, 1975 Grand National

Why we love him Thanks to his gameness, fine jumping and cast-iron constitution, he became one of racing's best-loved old friends; a top novice and championship contender, 15-length winner of both the Totalisator Champion Novices' (now Royal & SunAlliance) Chase and the Hennessy; a Grand National veteran and rival of Red Rum and L'Escargot who finished in the frame three consecutive times at Aintree.

Spanish Steps: as game as they came


Remittance Man

B g 1984

Prince Regent - Mittens

Owner J E H Collins

Trainer Nicky Henderson

Jockeys Richard Dunwoody, Jamie Osborne

Record (jumps) 16 wins from 29 starts

Career highlights Won 1991 Arkle Trophy, 1992 Arlington Premier Chase Final, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Melling Chase, Desert Orchid South Western Pattern Chase, Peterborough Chase

Why we love him A rare champion novice who fulfilled his promise in open competition; wonderfully consistent, winning 13 of his first 14 races over fences - he was also third in the King George VI Chase - before injury compromised his career; an outstanding two-miler who beat Katabatic and Waterloo Boy in a vintage renewal of the Champion Chase; a fast and accurate jumper, but not without idiosyncrasies - a nervy sort, his best friend was a sheep named Nobby, who accompanied him everywhere.

Remittance Man: two-mile virtuoso


Go Ballistic

Br g 1989

Celtic Cone - National Clover

Owner Sheila Lockhart Trainers John O'Shea (David Nicholson, Henrietta Knight, Richard Phillips)

Jockeys Richard Johnson (Mick Fitzgerald, Tony Dobbin) Record (jumps) 9 wins from 57 starts

Career highlights Won 1996 Betterware Cup, 1998 Jim Ford Chase; 2nd 1999 Cheltenham Gold Cup, King George VI Chase, 2001 Tote Gold Trophy Chase; 3rd 1994 Festival Bumper

Why we love him A popular old stager who, despite long-term wind problems, became a regular at the big tracks throughout a career that began at Sandown in February 1994 and ended only last year at Cheltenham, where, making his ninth Festival appearance, he was pulled up in the William Hill NH Handicap Chase; ran in five successive Gold Cups (1997-2002, doing best when a length runner-up to See More Business in 1999); for good measure, he was short-headed in Sandown's `substitute' Gold Cup in 2001.

Go Ballistic: Gold Cup regular


Hatton's Grace

B g 1940

His Grace - Hatton

Owner Moya Keogh Trainer Vincent O'Brien Jockeys (jumps) Aubrey Brabazon, Tim Molony (Morny Wing, Martin Molony on Flat) Record (Flat) 6 wins from 20 starts; (jumps) 12 wins from 32 starts

Career highlights Won 1949 Champion Hurdle, Irish Lincolnshire, Irish Cesarewitch, 1950 Champion Hurdle, Irish Cesarewitch, 1951 Champion Hurdle

Why we love him

One of the champions who started the

Vincent O'Brien legend; the first horse to win the Champion Hurdle three times, and the first 11-year-old to win it; a remarkable dual-purpose performer, the Irish equivalent of Sea Pigeon; small and unimposing, but a David capable of slaying Goliaths at both The Curragh and Cheltenham, where his Flat-race speed was devastating.

Hatton's Grace: O'Brien hero



B h 1992

In The Wings - Glorious Song

Owner Sheikh Mohammed Trainer Michael Stoute Jockeys Frankie Dettori (Mick Kinane, Gary Stevens, Jerry Bailey) Record (Flat) 9 wins from 20 starts

Career highlights Won 1996 Canadian International, Japan Cup, 1997 Dubai World Cup, Coronation Cup, Juddmonte International; 2nd 1995 Grand Prix de Paris, Eclipse, 1996 Coronation Cup, Breeders' Cup Turf

Why we love him Top-class international performer as a four- and five-year-old, flying the flag for British racing against the best the world had to offer; made the frame in each of 19 runs after juvenile debut, earning superstar status by winning Group 1s on three continents including `home' win in Dubai that sparked incredible scenes of jubilation.

Singspiel: trotted the globe in superstar style



Br g 1980

High Top - Ravenshead

Owner Terry Thorn Trainer John Bridger Jockey Gary Moore Record (jumps) 0 wins from 74 starts

Career highlights Got within 30 lengths of two-mile champion Barnbrook Again when 2nd of 3 in a novices' chase at Ascot in 1988; 3rd (of three) behind Remittance Man in 1990 Wayward Lad Novices' Chase

Why we love him The prototype Quixall Crossett, this lifelong novice chaser's failure to win even a single race became the stuff of racing legend in the 1980s and his enduring cult following marshalled the vote to get him into the 100; although he had a semblance of ability, it was his absolute bloody-minded determination never to put his head in front that earned him celebrity status in the 1980s, with even News At Ten featuring his efforts - or lack of them - at one stage; died last year at farm of his trainer, who said: "He was a crafty character, but I feel a bit sick I couldn't get him to win."

Amrullah: far too "crafty" to win



Ch g 1956

Caporetto - Roundandround

Owner A B Mitchell Trainer Bob Turnell Jockeys Jeff King (Bill Rees, Johnny Haine) Record (jumps) 21 wins from 82 starts

Career highlights Won 1964 Jerry M Chase, 1965 Stone's Ginger Wine Chase, National Hunt Handicap Chase, 1967 Hennessy Gold Cup; 3rd 1969 Grand National

Why we love him Put in ten seasons of faithful service to the Turnell stable; beat Fort Leney at the Cheltenham Festival, and Stalbridge Colonist and What A Myth in a spine-tingling Hennessy finish; a Grand National regular who fell five out when in the lead in 1965, was a victim of the pile-up in Foinavon's year, and finished third at the age of 13.

Rondetto: hardy perennial


*Trainers and jockeys in brackets, while not those chiefly associated wiith the horse, played a signficant role in its career
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 19, 2004
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