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Denman 2000-2018

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djebel View Drop Down
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    Posted: 06 Jun 2018 at 9:08pm


STRIKE WHILST THE IRON IS HOT

reductio ad absurdum

The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2018 at 9:10pm

Cheltenham Gold Cup hero and jumps legend Denman dies aged 18

Denman, one of the iconic figures of 21st century jump racing, has died aged 18.

Known by his legions of fans as 'The Tank', Denman carved his place in jump racing folklore with a string of outstanding racecourse performances and his head-to-head rivalry with stablemate, and neighbour, Kauto Star.

The defining moment of his career came at the 2008 Cheltenham Festival, when he produced a relentless performance of galloping and jumping to defeat defending champion Kauto Star and future Grand National winner Neptune Collonges under jockey Sam Thomas.

In a statement released on Wednesday morning, Paul Nicholls, who trained Denman for Paul Barber and Harry Findlay, said: "It is with regret that I have to report that our hugely popular Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman was put to sleep painlessly yesterday at Ditcheat at the age of 18.

"The decision was taken by his devoted owner Paul Barber with the full support of myself, our head lad Clifford Baker and our vet Buffy Shirley-Beavan. We all agreed it was the right thing to do because but he had begun to go downhill in the past few days and we did not want to see him suffer.

“He was tough, hardy and willing, wasn’t the easiest to train and would bite your hand off in his box given half a chance. He came along at the right time and was one of our superstars during a golden era for Team Ditcheat.”

Denman’s first three seasons on the course were near faultless, with a surprise defeat by Nicanor in the 2006 Royal & Sun Alliance Hurdle (now Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle) the only blemish on an otherwise perfect record.

During that time he landed multiple big prizes such as Challow Novices’ Hurdle, RSA Chase, Hennessy Gold Cup, Lexus Chase and Aon Chase before demolishing his rivals in his first Gold Cup.

The following season Denman did not return to the course until February following the diagnosis of a fibrillating heart, which was corrected by vets stopping and restarting the muscle. He went on to finish second to Kauto Star in the Gold Cup, a position he would fill in the showpiece event in the next two seasons as well.

Denman was to win just one more time after the 2008 Gold Cup, carrying top weight and the ardent hopes of thousands of supporters to victory in the 2009 Hennessy Gold Cup, a performance which brought a tear to the eye of his connections.

He was retired at the end of 2011, due to a tendon injury, with the outstanding record of 14 wins and six places from 24 starts earning £1,141,347 in prize-money.

Denman, who survived a potentially fatal infection in 2013, spent much of his retirement competing in team chasing before returning to Ditcheat.

Nicholls said: “Denman was a superb horse who enjoyed a fantastic life in retirement, first of all team chasing with Charlotte Alexander in the Cotswolds before returning to Ditcheat where he was turned out to grass in the care of Paul’s daughter-in-law Emma with a couple of other retired horses. Paul visited him almost every day and was immensely proud of his achievements on the racecourse.

“Denman was known affectionately to punters and racegoers as ‘The Tank’ which I always felt was a fitting description. He was a magic horse who had a tremendous following because of the wholehearted way he went about his racing.”

He added: “Denman was never a particularly good workhorse on the gallops, sensibly saving his best for the track where his strength, power and his never say die attitude made him so difficult to beat.

"For several years he lived in the adjoining box to Kauto Star and their first showdown at Cheltenham in the 2008 Gold Cup was a promoter’s dream. I feel so privileged to have trained the pair of them as they were two of the best chasers ever seen on a racecourse.”



STRIKE WHILST THE IRON IS HOT

reductio ad absurdum

The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.

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djebel View Drop Down
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Joined: 07 Mar 2007
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2018 at 9:14pm


STRIKE WHILST THE IRON IS HOT

reductio ad absurdum

The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.

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