· World Champion Heavyweight Boxer David Haye visits equine Champion Heavyweights, Kauto Star and Denman, to mark four weeks until the two fight for the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup
· Imagery and Video footage of David Haye with Kauto Star and Denman has been sent to all picture desks
Friday 19th February 2010 is exactly four weeks before the world-renowned totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup takes place and to mark the occasion, World Champion Heavyweight Boxer, David Haye, took time out from training for a private audience with two Champions of a different kind. “The Hayemaker” today visited the home of Champion Jumps Trainer, Paul Nicholls, to meet Kauto Star and Denman, the country’s two greatest racehorses and two of the most special to ever tread the turf.
Renowned for his incredible speed and power, Haye has a great deal in common with his equine counterparts. While he waits to defend his world heavyweight belt against American John Ruiz in Manchester on April 3rd, the forthcoming fight between the two horses is one of racing’s most anticipated events of the year and a race that could become one of the most memorable of all time. These two superstars have held Jump racing’s crown between them since 2007, when Kauto Star first won the Gold Cup. Denman then fought back to take the prize in 2008, before Kauto Star went on to break records when he became the first horse to reclaim the prize in 2009.
What makes this story all the more special is that these horses are both stablemates and friends, trained by one man and living in stables next door to one another. Paul Nicholls, is the undisputed king of Jump racing training, his all-star team of top thoroughbreds winning big race after big race, with Kauto Star and Denman leading the way.
Kauto Star, owned by professional golf course designer Clive Smith, is already acknowledged as one of the greatest racehorses ever and the best horse of his generation, earning his connections a staggering £2,500,000 in prize money to date, the first jumps horse to win over £2m. Denman, owned by professional gambler Harry Findlay and dairy farmer Paul Barber, cemented his position as a modern-day great with a second successive win this year in the historic Hennessey Cognac Gold Cup to add to his totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup, and his friendly rivalry with his stablemate has been the main focus of Jump racing over the last three seasons.
Speaking after his visit, David Haye said of coming face to face with the two equine giants:
“They remind me of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman – Kauto’s brilliantly talented and flashy like Ali, whilst Denman’s a real slugger like George Foreman. The Cheltenham Gold Cup this year is racing’s very own ‘Rumble in the Jungle!’”
Champion Trainer, Paul Nicholls, commented:
“It’s been a pleasure to talk to David about the work that goes into preparing these horses for their own fight and to hear about the preparations for his, and we’re thrilled that he has taken time out to come down to Somerset to see us.
“The Gold Cup is just four weeks away now and all eyes are on Denman and Kauto Star, and we’re hoping that one of them can bring back the prize for a fourth time. After his visit today, I’m sure all eyes at Manor Farm Stables will be on his defence in Manchester, and we’ll be cheering him on from here!”
The Cheltenham Festival takes place from the 16th – 19th March 2010, with over 200,000 people expected to attend Jump Racing’s own Championships.
For further information or imagery, please contact Amy Sherman, British Horseracing Authority Promotions Manager, on 020 7152 0115 / 07554 400150 or [email protected] or Kelly Barnes, British Horseracing Authority Promotions Assistant, on 020 7152 0164 or [email protected]
Notes for Editors
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About The Cheltenham Festival
The Cheltenham Festival produces an atmosphere that is unique – the combination of the huge crowds, the amazing setting and the sense that you are watching history being made produces a sporting cocktail like no other. During the week, over 200,000 people will experience The Festival in person, many of them travelling significant distances to be here – and across the nation, more than £500 million will be bet on the outcome of the 26 races, culminating in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday 19th March.
For more information and to book tickets visit www.cheltenham.co.uk
About Paul Nicholls
After his successful career as a jockey was curtailed by a broken leg, Paul Nicholls eventually set up his own training yard and has built Manor Farm Stables into one of the most successful training bases in the world, boasting over 1,700 winners, including four Cheltenham Gold Cup winners and countless other big race victories. He has won the last four Champion Trainers’ Titles, his horses accumulating over £10m in prizemoney in the process.
About Kauto Star
Kauto Star is simply one of the greatest racehorses ever and the best jumps horse of his generation. Stabled in Ditcheat, Somerset by Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls for owner Clive Smith, Kauto Star’s partnership with regular jockey Ruby Walsh has become a match made in heaven. The horse has won a string of big races, including his two Cheltenham Gold Cups in 2007 and 2009. Add to that four successive King George VI Chases at Kempton Park – a feat greater than that achieved by the legendary Desert Orchid – two Tingle Creeks at Sandown Park and an Order of Merit season of six out of six wins, and you can easily see why Kauto Star has earned his connections around £2,500,000 in prize money.
Denman already holds his place as one of the greatest racehorse. His rivalry with stablemate Kauto Star has been the highlight of Jump racing over the past two seasons. “The Tank”, as part-owner Harry Findlay once labelled him, took his place among the greats when ‘thumping’ Kauto Star in the 2008 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup under jockey Sam Thomas. Their duel has become the most talked about equine rivalry since Arkle and Mill House over 40 years ago. Denman’s other owner is Paul Barber, a dairy farmer from Ditcheat in Somerset. Barber was instrumental in assisting Paul Nicholls as he started out on his early training career and still remains his landlord to this day!
About Ruby Walsh
Jump Jockey and partner to Kauto Star, Ruby Walsh dominates the Irish Champion Jockey title, having won the award for the last four years – an achievement made even more remarkable given that he has a unique riding arrangement with two powerful stables, one of either side of the Irish Sea – Willie Mullins in Ireland and Paul Nicholls in Britain. He also overtook Champion Jockey Tony McCoy as the most successful current rider at The Festival, thanks to an unprecedented seven victories in 2009.
About A P (Tony) McCoy
Tony McCoy is a phenomenon, the likes of which racing has never seen before. Statistically, he is by far the greatest Jump Jockey of all time, having ridden well over 1,000 more winners than his closest rival. McCoy rode his staggering 3000th winner in February 2009, a superhuman feat which has seen him collect an astonishing 14 consecutive Champion Jockey trophies.
About the Tote
The Tote is one of the principal betting organisations in Britain with more than 4,500 employees, 512 betting shops and a major presence on each of the 60 racecourses in Britain as well as significant internet and telephone betting facilities.
The Tote was established by Act of Parliament in 1928 and is now one of the largest bookmakers in the UK. Its original purpose was to offer on-course pool betting on horseracing as an alternative to starting price betting with bookmakers and to distribute its profits for ‘purposes conducive to the improvement of breeds of horses or the sport of horseracing.’ The first major race meetings with tote betting were the flat race meetings at Newmarket (July Course) and Carlisle on 2nd July 1929.
Tote Investors Ltd (TIL) was set up in 1930 as an independent company by a ‘group of gentlemen interested in the welfare of racing’ to channel off-course and credit bets into the tote pools. The tote bought TIL in 1962 and now totesport.com has over 200,000 active clients and accepts credit and debit bets for fixed-odds and pool betting on horseracing and most sporting events via their telephone call centre and the internet.
totesport offers a comprehensive multi-channel means of betting on sports from across the globe, everything from Premiership football through to NFL in the United States and Australian Rugby League. totesport also bet in-play on all live televised matches on Sky Sports, BBC, ITV, Channel 5 and will be betting on selected matches from the new ESPN football channel.
Present on all 60 British racecourses, totepool is the only pool betting operation on horseracing in Britain. Run for the benefit of British horseracing, profits from totepool go back into racing and over 74 million bets are placed through the tote every year.
There are 512 totesport betting shops which offer cash and debit card betting on horseracing as well as a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events.