Denman and Kauto Star among former stars to parade at Cheltenham Festival

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  • Past Gold Cup winners Denman and Kauto Star will be among a group of popular ex-racehorses parading for fans at the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday (10 March).

    They will be joined at the Gloucestershire track by four-time World Hurdle winner Big Buck’s, who is now enjoying a second career hunting, as well as Blazing Bailey, Comply Or Die and Jack The Giant.

    Big Buck’s was recently taken on by Lucy Tucker, after he retired following last year’s World Hurdle. The gelding is settling into hunting well, and in December delighted fans when he returned to Ditcheat with the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale with former stablemate Denman.

    Denman paraded at Newbury racecourse last month (pictured) ahead of the race named in his honour, the Denman Chase.

    His rider Charlotte Alexander told H&H she is pleased to be bringing the gelding back to Cheltenham and the site of his most famous victory — the 2008 Gold Cup.

    “I’m very much looking forward to parading Denman at Cheltenham, and in particular breezing in front of the packed stands after the runners have gone down for the first race,” she said.

    “Denman is feeling rather well at the moment so it will be rather an exciting gallop.

    “It will be lovely for him to see his old stablemates Kauto Star and Big Buck’s again.”

    The Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) parades were introduced in 2008 by the charity to showcase the adaptability of racehorses when retrained for a second career. They are now an established part of the major jump racing festivals at Cheltenham and Aintree, as well as featuring at British Champions Day at Ascot in October.

    “To have Gold Cup, Grand National and World Hurdle winners in the parade is fantastic and it will be great for the Cheltenham racegoers to see so many old favourites,” said Di Arbuthnot of RoR.

    “However, just as important from the charity’s perspective are those horses that have channelled their talents into a whole new discipline.”

    Grand National hero Comply Or Die is now showing off his skills in dressage, Jack The Giant is a showing star — having won at Hickstead last summer — while popular grey Grands Crus has turned his hoof to showjumping.

    Joining them is Sentry Duty, an ex-Nicky Henderson-trained Flat horse who is now hunting and Miko De Beauchene, winner of the 2007 Welsh National who now hunts with the North Cotswold.

    Also parading will be Ortolan, a horse less-well known to racegoers, but the joint RoR elite eventing champion ridden by Polly Stockton,” added Di.

    “For RoR to have the opportunity to parade horses at events such as the Cheltenham Festival is a real privilege and forms an important part of our strategy to increase awareness of the work the charity does facilitating the retraining of racehorses.”

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