Category Archives: Book review

CHELTENHAM – The 100 Years War

As this year’s Cheltenham Festival draws ever closer the appearance of CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL CENTENARY 1911–2011 – An Irish Tribute could not be more timely.
Lavishly illustrated, with a foreword by the Festival’s most successful owner, JP McManus, this comprehensive record details the role of Irish owners, breeders, trainers, riders, punters and horses in making the Crucible in the Cotswolds a uniquely Irish overseas arena.
This remarkable book gathers together for the first time the triumphs and disasters that attended annual Irish forays to Prestbury Park in March. In addition to comprehensive indexes of horses and humans, it contains tables of every Irish-trained Cheltenham Festival winner.
From Ballinode in 1925 to War Of Attrition in 2006, the Cheltenham Gold Cup has crossed the 1rish Sea 21 times. Cottage Rake took it on three occasions, as did Arkle subsequently. The Champion Hurdle followed suit 18 times, from Distel in 1946 up to Hurricane Fly in 2011. Hatton’s Grace took the spoils three times, as Istabraq would later do.
Inkslinger, the only horse ever to win two steeplechases at the same Cheltenham Festival, was trained on the Curragh. Montelado, the only horse ever to win successive Cheltenham Festival events, was prepared to do so in Waterford.
Limerick handler, Delma Harty became the first of her sex to saddle a Cheltenham Festival winner, just as Caroline Beasley became the first woman ever to ride a winner at the Olympics of national hunt racing.
Ireland’s Cheltenham Festival record has actually mirrored the fortunes of Irish racing. From a record haul of nine winners in 1958, the Irish fortunes fell to an all-time low in 1989 – zero. That 1958 record stood until 2006, and was extended further with and extraordinary 13 Irish-trained winners last year.

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL CENTENARY 1911 – 2011 – An Irish Tribute
PB 240pps
Daletta Press
ISBN 978-0-9534389-3-8
RSP €25.00 – Stg £20.00

CONTACT
Guy Williams,
The Thatch,
Cloneygath,
Monasterevan,
Co Kildare
045 523449
guywilliams@eircom.net

Guy Williams Biography
Guy is a freelance author, columnist, racing historian and publisher.
A member of the famous Irish distilling family that produced Tullamore Dew, Guy was an executive of the company, specialising in brand creation and development for 14 years.
Throughout that period, he became immersed in horse racing as an owner, trainer and amateur jockey, having winners in all three guises under Rules and point-to-points.
He took out a licence to train publicly in 1979 and produced Daletta to win the Irish Grand National the following year. That success earned him the Young Trainer of the Year award.
That was to prove the highlight of his training career, but he retained an involvement in racing, as a stipendiary steward of the Jockey Club. Guy also held that role in Macau in the early ‘90s, where other duties included all administrative functions covered here by Horse Racing Ireland, the Turf Club and Weatherbys.
By this stage, Guy was a published author and he has continued to produce works of quality and detail. He is currently a racing columnist and co-compiler of Ireland’s long awaited Racing Archive.
Guy was married to Anne Harty in 1966 and they have five adult children.

PUBLISHED WORK
Racing
History of the Irish Derby (1980)
History of the Irish Grand National (1995)
Racing Lodges of the Curragh (1997)
Winner all right (1999)
Martin Molony – a Legend in his Lifetime (2001)
Cheltenham Gold Cup IMMORTALS (2003)
T.P. BURNS – A Racing Life (2006)
Plantation Stud – Derby Dreams (2007)
The Irish National Stud (2009)
Non-Racing
A Sea-grey House (1995)
A Year in Connemara (1998)
The Renvyle Letters (2000)
FIREBRAND – The Life and Times of Herbrand Alexander (2010)

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