Third Cheltenham Victory for Inglis Drever
On the 18th of March 1999, a future Cheltenham Festival winner was born. He was set to make history, to bring pride and joy into the lives of many, and to become an inspiration to those in need. Inglis Drever began his racing career in flat horse racing. Named after John Inglis Drever Pottinger, a famous painter from Scotland who passed away in 1986, this magnificent horse only realized his true potential and forte under the watchful eyes of owner, Graham Wylie.
During his flat racing career, Inglis Drever was trained by Sir Mark Prescott, who put him up for sale as a four year old. Howard Johnson at first thought that he might be a little small to jump hurdles, but clearly underestimated the size of his heart. Wylie bought Inglis Drever for 110 000 guineas, and as soon as trainer, Johnson, started schooling him across a few hurdles, his potential became abundantly clear.
On the 13th of March 2008, Inglis Drever, as a seasoned nine year old, made Cheltenham Festival history, by winning the Grade I World Hurdle race for a third time. Having won this amazing race for the first time in 2005, he became a horse that has had the spotlight thrust on him and his racing career watched carefully. In 2006, he was forced to rest due to a serious tendon injury that kept him from competing for almost a year. During this time, he might not have been winning races, but he most certainly won the heart and respect of stable girl Ginni Wright. At the same time that Inglis Drever was fighting to recover, Ginni was battling breast cancer. She found inspiration and courage by nursing and caring for the injured champion. They helped each other through a hard time and share a close bond that is clearly visible as she shares intimate stares and loving words with Inglis Drever.
In 2007, Inglis Drever again took the title at the Cheltenham Festival. When he stepped out onto the track for a third time, spectators were hoping for a third win from this dynamic horse; however, some did have the fear that his age might count against him. But his jockey, Denis O’Regan, just let him run his own race. He knew that when Inglis Drever hit his customary flat spot, all he needed to do was relax and enjoy the race. O’Regan commented after the pair’s victory that all praise should go to Inglis Drever, as he runs each race according to his own pace, and knows exactly when to open the flood of power that led him to his third win at Cheltenham.
It was said that if Inglis Drever won at the Cheltenham, he would be retired, because as a nine year old he doesn’t have too many races left. Nothing in regard to this has been confirmed, and owner Graham Wylie believes that Inglis Drever will let them know when he is ready to hang up his cream and black riding silks.