Foxhunter Chase 2013 Cheltenham Festival
The Foxhunter Chase is one of the oldest races at the Cheltenham Festival and is run on the final day of the week extravaganza, straight after the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
In theory, the race is regarded as the Gold Cup for the amateur rides as professional jockeys are not allowed to participate in the race. For the jockeys that take part it is the highlight of the hunter chase season and is a race that is never forgotten by the jockey who gets to ride the winner at the Cheltenham Festival. It is run over the same course and distance as the Cheltenham Gold Cup and has the reward of £35,000 for the winning connections.
The compelling chase is one of three races exclusively for amateur riders at The Festival – the others are the National Hunt Chase and the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Chase. It can only be seen as a race for developing young talent in the saddle; promising youngster Sam Twiston-Davies won in 2010 while top-class Jumps jockey Joe Tizzard won this race in 1998 with Earthmover.
In terms of finding the winner of the race, punters like to put their faith in horses that have come from a point-to-point/hunting chasing background as 21 of the last 24 winners of the Foxhunters' emerged from that background.
That was the case in the 2012 race as Salsify landed another blow for the Irish. The seven-year-old nailed strong favourite Chapoturgeon right on line in dramatic style.
One of the most memorable renewals of the race came in 2011 when Zemsky took advantage of a late fall from probable winner Baby Run, who was searching for his second consecutive win in the race. Baby Run's jockey 16-year-old Willie Twiston Davies was inconsolable when being walked back to the paddock and his tears live long in the memory of all race fans.