Tag Archive for: Indefatigable

Festival winner Indefatigable bows out

Indefatigable, winner of the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, has been retired.

The 10-year-old began her career by finishing third to Champion Bumper winner Relegate at Punchestown before switching to Paul Webber and struck a total of seven times in 31 appearances under Rules.

Her finest hour undoubtedly came at Prestbury Park during the 2020 Festival where having missed the break and then niggled along throughout, she showed the tenacity that has been a hallmark of her career to work her way into contention then storm home in the hands of Rex Dingle – getting up by a short head in the dying strides.

Fortunate to escape relatively unscathed from a heavy fall in last year’s Mares’ Hurdle at the Festival and having failed to sparkle this term, connections have decided to call time on the daughter of Schiaparelli’s on-track career, with her final outing an honourable third in the Listed Warwick Mares’ Hurdle.

“She’s been a wonderful mare,” said owner Philip Rocher.

“She has always been strong-willed and we always said the minute she didn’t want to do it anymore, we would know. I hope I’m not jumping the gun but we’re getting the feeling she has done enough and I wouldn’t want to have her in training or racing one second longer than she wanted to.

“It’s sad but she has had an absolutely brilliant career and has given me far more excitement than I thought I would get from any horse. I hope she has a pleasant retirement.”

Indefatigable is set to head back to Ireland in retirement, where future plans could include a date with Walk In The Park, and Rocher was keen to pay tribute to Webber’s stewardship of his star mare during her time in training at the handler’s Banbury base.

He continued: “Paul did a great job with her and is a fabulous trainer. It shows if you give him the ammunition, he will get the best out of it and if he has good horses, he will get good results.”

As well as her Cheltenham Festival triumph, Indefatigable provided Rocher with many great days and her CV also lists a victory in the Grade Two West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby, two successes in Listed company and a further six placed efforts in black-type contests.

“I don’t think I have ever got as excited as I did at Wetherby when she won the Grade Two, because I really didn’t expect it up against Paisley Park and a host of great horses,” said Rocher.

ndefatigable ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob (left) clears a hurdle on their way to winning the bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby racecourse in October 2021
Indefatigable ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob (left) clears a hurdle on their way to winning the bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby racecourse in October 2021 (Tim Goode/PA)

“But that Cheltenham race watching her carve through the field and thinking she could finish perfectly respectably, then thinking actually she could place and then ‘blimey, she is going to win’ was just brilliant. It’s all great memories.

“She also had a couple of brilliant runs at Sandown in Grade Twos where she was less than a length second and looked like she might snatch the win but didn’t. They gave me a lot of fun. One of them was just as lockdown was ending and there was no crowd but owners were allowed and I went with my son Tom and it was exciting – you couldn’t be miserable about it and as always she ran a great race.”

Indefatigable’s trainer echoed those sentiments, saying: “Cheltenham was a remarkable moment.

“To win the last race of the Festival – how lucky were we to get in the winner’s enclosure?

Cheltenham Festival 2020 – Gold Cup Day – Cheltenham Racecourse
Jockey Rex Dingle and trainer Paul Webber celebrate winning the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle with Indefatigable at the Cheltenham Festival in 2020 (Tim Goode/PA)

“She missed the break because she was more interested in eating her competitors than racing against them at that stage and how she came from last to first was extraordinary. Rex (Dingle) certainly threaded her through the eye of a needle.

“She’s been a fairy tale really. John O’Connor who bred her was a great friend of mine and Philip Rocher said he wouldn’t mind owning a filly one day. Three weeks later John O’Connor rang up saying he would like a partner for her after her bumper at Punchestown and it’s there for all to see what she has done since.

“She’s been our flagbearer and I could do with a few more like her.

“I’m sure we will keep in touch with her and it’s wonderful that she will now head back to Ireland to John O’Connor, where she was bred, and we look forward to seeing what happens next.”