Cue Card

Cue Card Owned by Mrs. Jean Bishop and trained by Colin Tizzard in Milborne Port, Dorset, Cue Card made a winning debut at the Cheltenham Festival when, in 2010, he belied inexperience and odds of 40/1 to win the Weatherbys Champion Bumper. Having just his second start, he was confidently ridden by Joe Tizzard and romped clear in the closing stages to beat Al Ferof by 8 lengths.

Al Ferof would reverse that form in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2011, for which Cue Card started favourite, but could only finish fourth, beaten 6½ lengths. Sent over fences at the start of the 2011/12 season, Cue Card understandably proved no match for Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle Challenge Trophy, but still finished a clear second. Indeed, he was back at the Festival in 2013, making all the running to beat First Lieutenant by 9 lengths in the Ryanair Chase.

Cue Card did not run at the Cheltenham Festival until 2016, by which time he was an established staying chaser. Indeed, fresh from victory in the Betfair Chase at Haydock and the King George VI Chase at Kempton, he was sent off 5/2 second-favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in pursuit of ‘The Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown’ and the accompanying £1 million bonus. Sadly, it was not to be; he was still disputing the lead, travelling well, when coming to grief at the third-last fence.

Cue Card returned to the Festival twice more, failing to complete the course when well-fancied for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2017 and 2018. At the end of his career, he had won 16 of his 41 races, including nine at Grade One level, and £1.45 million in prize money.

Dorothy Paget

Dorothy Paget The Honourable Dorothy Paget, who died from heart failure, at the age of 54, in 1960, had many claims to fame, not least that she was, at one time, the richest unmarried woman in England. However, from a Cheltenham Festival perspective, she owned seven winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, making her the leading owner in the history of the ‘Blue Riband’ event, and four winners of the Champion Hurdle.

In 1931, Paget was persuaded by trainer Basil Briscoe to purchase two geldings, Golden Miller and Insurance, for a reputed £12,000 – over £800,000 by modern standards – from the late Philip Carr. The money proved well spent, with Golden Miller winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup five years running between 1932 and 1936 and Insurance winning the Champion Hurdle in both 1932 and 1933. In 1934, as a seven-year-old, ‘The Miller’ also won the Grand National and remains the only horse to have won the two premier steeplechases in the British National Hunt calendar in the same season.

In 1940, Paget completed the Champion Hurdle – Cheltenham Gold Cup double, courtesy of Solford and Roman Hackle, both of whom were trained by Owen Anthony. In 1946, she won the Champion Hurdle again, with Distel, trained by Charles Rogers and, in 1952, her seventh and final Cheltenham Gold Cup with Mont Tremblant, trained by Fulke Walwyn. Walwyn saddled no fewer than 365 winners for Paget, but even he found the eccentric, richly difficult heiress ‘so trying’; on one famous occasion, after Walwyn had sent out Paget-owned horses to win the first five races on a six-race card at Folkestonem, Paget abused the revered trainer for failing to win the sixth race.