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Heure de Gloire bolted up on her only
start over hurdles in France and demonstrated
good potential when 2nd at Huntingdon.
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                   Chatam & MCP

Chatham is another golden oldie who was high class in the late 80s and early 90s.  He was a Cheltenham Festival and Hennessy winner to name just two top races amongst his list of honours.  He was a 1984 bay gelding by Big Spruce and his dam was Cristalina.  He won on his hurdling debut at Worcester in March 1998, making all and winning very easily with Jonothan Lower doing the steering.  He was third on his next start in the Triumph hurdle, seven lengths behind winner Kribensis.  Nine days later he was back to winning ways at Newbury.

He was then not seen on the track again until January 1989 and he was not at his best on his first two runs back, finishing nearer last than first.  He got back to winning ways on his third start in February, winning over hurdles at Nottingham. He finished ninth in the Champion hurdle at the Festival in March behind Beech Road before going out for his summer break.

His first run back the following season was at Cheltenham in December and he finished second to Bradbury Star and he also finished second on his next outing back at the track in January 1990.  He made his chasing debut at Chepstow later that month and was in the lead when falling at the eleventh fence.  He soon made amends by winning over fences for the first time on his second start at Newbury where he won very easily.  He ran really well on just his third start over the larger obstacles in the SunAlliance chase at the Festival, finishing third behind Garrison’s Savannah.  He had every chance at the last but had no extra on the run in and was beaten 7½ lengths.

After a summer holiday that year he made a winning return over fences at Newton Abbot in November 1990 and it was then straight to the Cheltenham Festival in March where his lined up in the Cathcart handicap chase.  Having being held up he led approaching two out and won very easily with Peter Scudamore on board at odds of 3/1.  He unseated at Newbury after this before running well at Aintree to finish second in the 2m4f handicap chase. 

It was then time for his summer holidays once again before he made a triumphant return to action winning the Hennessy at Newbury in November 1991.  He beat Party Politics by four lengths running off a mark of 153 with Peter Scudamore in the saddle once again. He followed up back at the track the following month and was then not seen on the track again until November 1992 when he reappeared in the Hennessy.  He made a gallant attempt to hold onto his crown but finished fourth to Sibton Abbey and was beaten 8¼ lengths.

He ventured over to Leopardstown in February 1993 and ran a cracker in the Irish Hennessy to finish a head second to Jodami.  He was below form in the Gold Cup after this and finished well behind winner Jodami on this occasion.  He ran in the 1993 Grand National that never was.

His next run was at Warwick in January 1994 where he finished second to Moorcroft Boy and then he returned to Leopardstown for the Irish Hennessy and finished fourth this time around.  He was eleventh in the Gold Cup and then it was out to grass for the summer once again.

His comeback run was in the Hennessy for the third consecutive year and he finished fifth on this occasion behind One Man.  He returned to winning ways on his next start, a chase at Haydock which he won very easily.  He then had a crack at the Welsh National which was actually transferred to Newbury this year (1994) and he was running well and disputing second place when falling at the second last.  He was then second in the Peter Marsh chase at Haydock and fifth back it Leopardstown again in the Irish Hennessy.  He was sixth in a handicap chase at the Festival that year before falling at the 12th fence in the 1995 Grand National with A P McCoy on board.  He finished midfield on his final run of that season in the Scottish National. 

He returned for what was to be his final season of racing with a second at Haydock in November 1995 but found things increasingly difficult in his advancing years in some tough races.  He was third at the Cheltenham Festival in a handicap chase before he pulled up in his final two runs of his life in the Grand National and Scottish National.

Chatam was the winner of seven races from 35 career starts and he was placed eleven times as well.  He ran at the at the Cheltenham festival eight times between 1988 and 1996 just missing one year (1992) through injury which is quite an achievement in itself.   Rated 171 at best he won over £149,000 in prize money and is fondly remembered as a very very good horse here at Pond House.

Watch him win the 1991 Hennessy here: