Horses for Sale

        Name Him Yourself!       

We have an athletic young gelding for sale.
Bred in the purple by NH super-sire Milan,
he has Grade 1 winner David's Charm in his
pedigree as well as high class Pond House
winners Junior and Celtic Son
Click on the picture for more details

Entries & Recent Form

    Challenger Du Luc (right) & Miinnehoma

Challenger Du Luc was a 1990 French born son of Chamberlin and is dam was Islande II.  His roll of honour includes a Cheltenham Festival victory and he was the winner of the of the Murphy’s Gold Cup as well.  He began his career in France and was one of our first French imports to Pond House.

He arrived at the yard in July 1994 and made his debut over hurdles at Exeter in September with Richard Dunwoody on board.  He was well beaten first time out but improved with each run after this in novice hurdles.  He was second at Bangor on his fourth start and got his first win on 16th December at Uttoxeter.  He was the easy winner in a sixteen runner field over 2m4f.  Two placed efforts followed before he finished the season with a win in a novice hurdle at Chepstow in March 1995.

After his summer holiday he returned to action for a novice chase campaign.  He was beaten a head into second place on his chasing debut at Chepstow but got his first win on his second start over fences at Leicester.  Stepped up in grade on his third start he finished second to Senor El Betrutti at Ascot before returning to winning ways at Kempton after this.  He then finished third at Kempton in January 1996 before lining up in the Cathcart handicap chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.  Ridden by David Bridgwater, he was held up in the early stages before making headway and moving to the lead three from home.  He was clear when he made a mistake at the second last but he stayed on well to win at odds of 10/1. He finished second up at Ayr after this in a Grade 2 novice chase and finished the season off with a third place at Sandown on the final day of the jumps season.

It was then time for his summer break once again and his first run back of the 1996/97 season was in the Murphy’s Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November.  Richard Dunwoody was on board and he just prevailed in a thrilling finish to beat Strong Promise by a head.  It was a terrific performance off a mark of 148. He went to Newbury for the Hennessy after this but fell too early to say how he might have fared.  He was below form at Cheltenham in January after this but bounced back to win at Wincanton in February.  His next race was in the 1997 Gold Cup in which he ran well and finished fifth behind winner Mr Mulligan, beaten just over 18 lengths without the paces to get involved at the finish.  He went on to finish fourth at Aintree after this.

He then went out for his holiday and made is comeback in the Murphy’s handicap chase at Cheltenham once again in November 1997.  Off a mark of 159 (11 pound higher than 12 months before) he made a gallant effort for a repeat success, finishing second to Senor El Betrutti, beaten three lengths. That second place was actually the first of four consecutive seconds for the horse.  He was then second at Newbury, second back at Cheltenham in the Tripleprint Gold Cup (to Senor El Betrutti again!) and then he was second in the 1997 King George at Kempton.  He ran a terrific race to be beaten only two lengths by See More Business but that does not perhaps tell the full story.  He came to win the race at the last still on the bridle but then found absolutely nothing when push came to shove.  He did get a bit of bad press for perhaps showing his unwillingness to battle on thie occasion having said that he probably ran the race of his life this day so it is hard to be too critical of him!

He was a faller at Wincanton after this before finishing fourth in the Racing Post Chase at Kempton in February.  He was seventh in the 1998 Gold Cup behind Cool Dawn and was a first fences faller in the Grand National after this. 

The following season he was fourth in the Murphy’s Gold Cup back at Cheltenham, before being down the field in the Tingle Creek Chase and then was fourth, albeit well held back in the King George at Christmas.  He was unfortunately disqualified on his next start at Ascot.  After finishing third with Timmy Murphy on board he was kicked out of the race due to reckless riding and the jockey was suspended for 10 days.  After this race Challenger’s form declined a little as he found things tougher in the top races.  He did finish 19th of 30 runners in the Coral Cup at the 1999 Cheltenham Festival and he only had four more career starts after this.  His final run was at Stratford in June 2000 after which he retired here at Pond House.  He sadly died of a heart attack in March 2004.

Challenger Du Luc was a very talented horse who did have his own ideas about the game on occasions.  He gave the yard and owner David Johnson some fantastic days but one or two heartache days as well but we certainly wish we could have a few more like him.  He won seven races from 40 career starts and was placed 17 times as well.  He was rated 160 at best and won over £190,000 in prize money.

Watch his win in the 1996 Murphy's Gold Cup at Cheltenham here:

Watch him finish second in the 1997 King George at Kempton here: