Cheltenham cheat sheet #1: your quick guide to the legend of Dawn Run
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1 Dawn Run remains the most successful mare in the history of National Hunt racing.
2 A daughter of Deep Run, champion jumps sire on 14 occasions, she was bought for just 5,800gns as an unbroken three-year-old.
3 She is still the only horse to have secured the Champion Hurdle (1984) and the Gold Cup (1986). Sir Peter O'Sullevan's commentary on the latter is one of the most famous in sporting history.
4 Dawn Run was only the second mare to win the Champion Hurdle (and one of only four to win it in total), and one of only four who have won the Gold Cup. The 5lb mares' allowance was introduced in the season of her Champion Hurdle success.
5 Legendary jockey Jonjo O’Neill was on board for both those Cheltenham successes, riding for Irish trainer Paddy Mullins, father of Willie Mullins, yet did not ride her in between those races.
6 O'Neill first rode Dawn Run at Ascot in November 1983 where she was victorious, despite giving her jockey an uncomfortable ride.
7 Dawn Run’s first season over hurdles in 1982-83 proved a remarkable success and she ended the career as champion novice.
8 The following season she became the first horse to complete the British, Irish and French Champion Hurdle treble – and remains the only horse to have won the Champion Hurdle in Britain and France.
9 Tragically, she broke her neck attempting to reclaim the French Champion Hurdle in 1986, with her death reported on the front page of the Irish Times.
10 A bronze statue of her and O’Neill now overlooks the parade ring at Cheltenham opposite the statue of another other Cheltenham legend, Arkle.
If you are interested in this, you should read:
All you need to know about the Cheltenham Festival 2018