Ferguson and Redknapp celebrate Cheltenham winnerson March 14, 2024 at 4:54 pm

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Two horses part-owned by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson win at the Cheltenham Festival before Harry Redknapp enjoys a victory too.

Sir Alex Ferguson, with Monmiral, had a day to rememberImage source, David Davies for The Jockey Club

Cheltenham Festival 2024

Dates: 12-15 March Venue: Cheltenham Racecourse Races: 13:30-17:30 GMT Main races: 15:30

Coverage: Commentaries on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra, with feature races on BBC Radio 5 Live. Racecards, live text, results & reports on the BBC Sport website and app.

Former football bosses Sir Alex Ferguson and Harry Redknapp both saw their horses win at the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday.

First, ex-Manchester United boss Ferguson enjoyed a double.

Monmiral, trained by Paul Nicholls, gave the part-owner a first win at the meeting and it was followed by Ryanair Chase victor Protektorat.

Then Shakem Up’Arry, owned by a delighted Redknapp, triumphed for trainer Ben Pauling.

Protektorat beat 2023 winner Envoi Allen to seal a Thursday double for trainer Dan Skelton and his jockey brother Harry, who earlier took the Turner Novices’ Chase with Grey Dawning.

“I’ve waited 20 years and now had two winners in 40 minutes,” said Ferguson.

Favourite Teahupoo, ridden by Jack Kennedy, won the Stayers’ Hurdle to give trainer Gordon Elliott his first win of the week.

The seven-year-old held off the 2021 and 2022 winner Flooring Porter, with Home By The Lee in third.

Fergie time at Cheltenham

Ferguson has been a long-standing racing fan and owner and finally realised his ambition of a Festival winner – not once, but twice.

“It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? It’s a special place,” said the 82-year-old after 17-2 shot Protektorat followed 25-1 chance Monmiral’s victory in the Pertemps Hurdle.

He is one of four owners of both horses, alongside Ged Mason and John and Lisa Hales.

Ferguson celebrated the first victory with another former football boss, Sam Allardyce, and ex-United captain Bryan Robson was among those to offer congratulations.

“He used to ban me from going to Haydock races after training but he has done a U-turn and is worse than me now,” Robson told BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra.

“They have had a lot of runners over the years and had some close calls but today the horses have done him justice.”

Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates Monmiral's win alongside fellow former football boss Sam Allardyce

Image source, Getty Images

Ferguson jumped for joy but tempered his celebrations having broken a rib, external when saluting his win with Spirit Dancer in Bahrain last year.

Protektorat was providing the Skeltons with their fourth victory of the week following a Wednesday double with Langer Dan and Unexpected Party.

It was among several British-trained winners to stem the tide of Irish triumphs led by dominant trainer Willie Mullins.

“It’s remarkable how things are going, I’m very proud of the whole team,” said Skelton.

Shakem Up’Arry wins for Redknapp

Harry Redknapp celebrates at Cheltenham

Image source, Getty Images

Former Tottenham and West Ham manager Redknapp was the next to taste victory when Shakem Up’Arry won the Trustatrader Plate.

The horse was named after a spectator who offered advice when he was in charge at the Hammers.

“I used to have a guy stand behind me at West Ham when I was manager,” said Redknapp. “For 90 minutes, he’d shout right behind my dugout: ‘Shake ’em up, ‘Arry, shake ’em up, ‘Arry.'”

Redknapp was shook up and overjoyed after his horse won at odds of 8-1 under Ben Jones.

“Oh my God, get in there! How good was that? He jumped for fun. What a performance,” he said.

“My nan got me into racing, she was a bookie’s runner back in the day. She’d get locked up in Poplar Police Station in the East End of London, because it was illegal in those days.

“I love the horses, I love the Festival, I love the people. It means so much.”

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