Cheltenham November meeting champions that went on to big things

Sprinter Sacre, Cheltenham November meeting

The Cheltenham November meeting is the first big Jumps festival of the season, and with it comes the chance to see horses who could potentially be come stars later in the year.

The meeting has showed many times before that the winning horses have what it takes to go on to big success. We’ve picked out our top 4.

Imperial Commander

The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained horse won his first big race in the Paddy Power Gold Cup (now BetVictor Gold Cup) at the Cheltenham November meeting, it was an impressive performance that saw him finish 13 lengths ahead of third place.

Imperial Commander then went on to win the 2009 Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and his biggest ever scalp came the following season in the Cheltenham Gold Cup against a top-class field of Kauto Star and Denman.

On the day, jockey Paddy Brennan said “It’s by far the best day of my life. I’m speechless. It was a dream the whole way!”

Imperial Commander did go on to win the 2010 Haydock Betfair Chase to make it three career Grade 1s and undoubtedly one of Nigel Twiston-Davies’ best ever horses.

Sizing Europe

One of the late Alan Potts’ great horses, Sizing Europe won eight Grade 1s across his career including two Cheltenham Festival wins as well as coming a close second in two more Cheltenham Festival races.

The 2007 Greatwood Hurdle at the Cheltenham November meeting was Sizing Europe’s first Grade race win and it was the first of an incredible 17 Graded races in his career, mightily impressive stats for a mightily impressive horse.

Sprinter Sacre

The ‘equine James Bond’ as Nicky Henderson called him, had achieved so much as a racehorse at the age of seven, winning an incredible seven Grade 1s in-a-row between March 2012 and April 2013 including a rare hat-trick at all three major spring festivals in 2013 – Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown.

However, Sprinter Sacre was diagnosed with a heart condition after the 2012/2013 season, although it was successfully treated he spent two years out of form and written off by many.

It was the Shloer Chase at the November meeting that got him back to the big time with a titanic performance that captured the racing public’s imagination – it was an emotional day for everyone involved.

Sprinter Sacre went on to be unbeaten that season with wins in the Desert Orchid Chase, the Cheltenham Champion Chase and the Bet365 Celebration Chase at Sandown. Relive the incredible journey of Sprinter Sacre’s return to the top.

Our Vic

Like so many horses before him the Cheltenham November meeting was where Our Vic kick started his career, winning the 2005 Grade 3 Paddy Power Gold Cup gave him and trainer David Pipe the confidence to go for the big Grade 1 races.

In the same season, Our Vic went on to win the Grade 1 Ascot Chase at Lingfield and the following season he won the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in a dominate performance. Perhaps he would have won more if he wasn’t competing an era of Kauto Star, Denman and the like.

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