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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Three stars who shone brightly at the top level for the Marquesa de Moratalla

The Fellow finally landed the Cheltenham Gold Cup under Adam Kondrat in 1994
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The Fellow 
Trained by Francois Doumen

The Fellow was not just the Marquesa de Moratalla's best horse – for two or three seasons he was one of the best chasers around, in Britain or France.

He won the Grand Steeplechase de Paris at Auteuil in 1991 and the King George VI Chase at Kempton that year and the next but it was his assault on the Cheltenham Gold Cup that really captured the public imagination.

The Marquesa's brother, the Marquis de Portago, had ridden Garde Toi to finish third in 1950 and The Fellow twice finished a very close second, beaten a short head by Garrison Savannah in 1991 and the same agonising distance by Cool Ground 12 months later.

His chance appeared to have gone when he could manage only seventh when a heavily backed favourite in 1993 but he returned to make it fourth time lucky 12 months later, scoring by a length and a half under Adam Kondrat.

First Gold 
Francois Doumen

Nobody could doubt the Marquesa de Moratalla's eye for a horse, as the tale of First Gold proves. She saw the horse win a provincial hurdle on television and, impressed by his size and courage, sent an agent to buy him for her.

It proved a shrewd deal as First Gold developed into a high-class chaser and put up a stunning performance when winning the King George VI Chase by ten lengths in 2000.

The horse was subsequently sold to JP McManus, for whom he won the Grade 1 Heineken Gold Cup at Punchestown.

Jimmy FitzGerald

The Marquesa had many a good jumper and plenty of big Flat winners but no better dual-purpose horse than Trainglot.

Her home-bred stayer was brought along steadily in typically canny fashion by Jimmy FitzGerald and landed the Cesarewitch under Willie Carson at Newmarket in 1990.

He proved just as adept when sent hurdling and won the Tote Jackpot Handicap Hurdle at Sandown in 1993 and 1996 and the Coral Cup at Cheltenham in 1996, before going on to score in Grade 2 company at Wetherby and Ascot.

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The day The Fellow finally conquered Cheltenham's Everest

It was his assault on the Cheltenham Gold Cup that really captured the public imagination
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