Rooney's Allow Trainers To Send Their Runners To Cheltenham Again

Leading racing owners Paul and Clare Rooney over the last few months hit out at Cheltenham Racecourse and stopped trainers with their horses from entering them at the home of jumps racing.

However, after a meeting with course officials last week they have decided to resume their horses competing at the prestigious course just in time to allow runners at the four-day Cheltenham festival.

Last week racing manager to the Rooney's, former jumps jockey Jason Maguire, an he met with clerk of the course at Cheltenham, Simon Claisse following on from the owners pulling horses out of racing at the track.

The owners originally started to warn their trainers away from the Gold Cup track due to horses that they own having an increased risk of injury to horses running at the track.

Back in December the Rooney's alerted all of their trainers by letter not to run any horses associated with themselves at Cheltenham or the festival but it has now been revealed that will be on show in March, in more of the Handicaps than the Graded contests.

jason maguire
Jason Maguire

(Credit Racing Post) Paul Rooney said: "We're pleased with what Cheltenham are doing to address our concerns and we're looking forward to racing back at the track in the near future, as and when the races are right for our horses.

"Cheltenham and the clerk of the course Simon Claisse have addressed the issues and I'm really happy with what they've done.

"They've put my mind at rest that we're going forward in the right direction and the welfare of the horses is paramount."

The partnership in the past have enjoyed winners at the track with their most memorable being back at the 2017 festival where Willoughby Court landed the Neptune Novices Hurdle in one of the races of the four days.

Since then they have seen bad moments at Prestbury Park losing Starchitect in the 2017 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup when he looked set to win but in the running suffered a fatal injury.

This season the Rooney's have not had a horse feature at Cheltenham since its November trials meeting but will be sure to have a handful of runners come March.

Rooney said: "The welfare of our horses has and always will come first. I'm constantly in touch with our racing manager Jason Maguire and the vets and whatever the horses need, they get it. 

"If it's rest, rehabilitation or any therapy, they get it."