Mill House (horse)

Last updated
Mill House
SireKing Hal
GrandsireWindsor Lad
DamNas Na Riogh
DamsireCariff
Sex Gelding
Foaled1957
CountryIreland
Colour Bay
BreederMrs Bridget Lawlor at Punchestown, Co. Kildare
OwnerWilliam H. Gollings
Trainer Fulke Walwyn
Record34: 16-6-2
Major wins
Cheltenham Gold Cup (1963)
Hennessy Gold Cup (1963)
King George VI Chase (1963)
Gainsborough Chase (1964, 1965, 1967)
Whitbread Gold Cup (1967)
Awards
Timeform rating: 191
Last updated on September 30, 2006

Mill House (1957–1975) was an Irish-bred but English-trained racehorse. He is considered one of the best National Hunt racing competitors in UK horse racing history but whose quality was overshadowed by arch rival Arkle. Mill House won the 1963 Cheltenham Gold Cup and 1967 Whitbread Gold Cup.

In horse racing in the United Kingdom, France and the Republic of Ireland, National Hunt racing requires horses to jump fences and ditches. National Hunt racing in the UK is informally known as "jumps" and is divided into two major distinct branches: hurdles and steeplechases. Alongside these there are "bumpers", which are National Hunt flat races. In a hurdles race, the horses jump over obstacles called hurdles; in a steeplechase the horses jump over a variety of obstacles that can include plain fences, water jump or an open ditch. In the UK the biggest National Hunt events of the year are generally considered to be the Grand National at Aintree and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Arkle Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Arkle was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse. A bay gelding by Archive out of Bright Cherry, he was the grandson of the unbeaten flat racehorse and prepotent sire Nearco. Arkle was born at Ballymacoll Stud, County Meath, by Mrs Mary Alison Baker of Malahow House, near Naul, County Dublin. He was named after the mountain Arkle in Sutherland, Scotland that bordered the Duchess of Westminster’s Sutherland estate. Owned by Anne Grosvenor, Duchess of Westminster, he was trained by Tom Dreaper at Greenogue, Kilsallaghan in County Meath, Ireland, and ridden during his steeplechasing career by Pat Taaffe.

Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeplechase horse race in Britain

The Cheltenham Gold Cup is a Grade 1 National Hunt horse race run on the New Course at Cheltenham Racecourse in England, over a distance of about 3 miles 2½ furlongs, and during its running there are 22 fences to be jumped. The race takes place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Known as 'The Big Horse' on account of his height of 18 hands, Mill House took part in one of the most famous battles of National Hunt Racing when in March 1964, he defended his Cheltenham crown against the Irish star Arkle. Trained by Fulke Walwyn and ridden by Willie Robinson, Mill House matched Arkle stride for stride over the last two miles before losing by five lengths.

Fulke Thomas Tyndall Walwyn CVO was a British jockey and a celebrated racehorse trainer, who was particularly successful in National Hunt racing.

Willie Robinson is a retired Irish jump jockey. He is the only jockey to have won the Hennessy Gold Cup three times. He is associated with the great steeplechaser, Mill House on whom he won both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Hennessy. He also won the Champion Hurdle on Anzio and Kirriemuir and the Grand National on Team Spirit. Unusually for a jump jockey, he was also placed in the Derby.

The following year, Mill House took Arkle on again in the Gold Cup but lost. His size meant increasing back problems, and he failed to participate in 1966 when Arkle won his third crown. In 1967, Mill House was back but Arkle was not, having been retired after suffering a serious leg injury a few months before at Kempton. However, Mill House slipped and fell at an open ditch in the back straight and left the race to a virtual unknown, Woodland Venture.

A few weeks later, Mill House won the prestigious Whitbread Gold Cup under top weight at Sandown Park. It was his last major win. Continuing back weakness plagued his campaign in 1968 when he fell again in both the Cheltenham and Whitbread Gold Cups. He died in October 1975. [1]

Mill House still has among the highest ratings ever for a National Hunt horse - see Timeform.

Timeform publishing company in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England founded in 1948

Timeform is a sports data and content provider located in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England founded in 1948 to provide information to fans, bettors, and others involved in the horse racing industry. The company was purchased by the sports betting exchange Betfair in December 2006. Since 2 February 2016, it has been owned by Paddy Power Betfair.

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References

  1. Arkle The Life and Legacy of Himself. Highdown. 2005. p. 175. ISBN   1-905156-16-2.