The former Cheltenham Gold Cup wined horse, Imperial Call, in the 1996 became the first Irish trained wined since Dawn Run a full decade before that.
He was the four-time Grande One winner who was trained by the mighty Fergie Sutherland, and was the horse of Conor O’Dwyer in Rough Quest by four victories.
According to Conor it was the horse who won in for him on his 30 years of age. He will never forget what the Imperial Call did for him.
Imperial Call won 16 out of 32 races and has made a profit of 414,633 pounds in prize-money.
BBC Commented on this event with the following words:
“Imperial Call, who won in such emphatic style that a repeat was immediately tipped, was hugely significant for Irish racing as in 1996 they were itching for another Gold Cup success 10 years after the victory of the iconic Dawn Run. Imperial Call also introduced to a wider audience his colourful trainer Fergie Sutherland – who died in 2012 – a British-born, Co. Cork-based ex-army officer who’d lost a leg during the Korean War. The combo really captured the sport’s imagination as witnessed by the wild scenes of Gold Cup celebration.”
On the other hand we have Jonjo O’Neill and his concern will he make it in the records together with legends Fred Rimell and Fred Winter?
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With the only two real legends and champions to lift the trophy multiple times more than half a century away, Jonjo O’Neil has the chance of repeating history.
Fred Rimell was the first one, and still is the leading joint-top jockey to have lifted the trophy four times immediately before and after the Second World War, made a record with saddling with the trophy for five years.
Same goes for the rider Fred Winter, who also has four consecutive championships during the 1950s.
Now in the 2014-2015 season, Jonjo O’Neil threatens to join the company of the two Fred’s unity, and become a legend himself. He has been a two time champion in the 1970s, and now, on a 62 years of age, has the opportunity to get among the three best chairman of all time.
When asked how he feels about it he answered that he would love to win it, of course he does, there is no point being in the game if you are not ambitious. This is the time when he has few good horses and ambitious riders that can help, and that he helps to go in history.
O’Neil is hoping to hit the target with them, as the chances are there, and followed by the Cheltenham Festival, the motivation will be there too, to get in the history with the post-war owners.
His best horse named Shutthefrontdoor is going to have rest this week as he will be running once or twice, so that he will be able to get fully prepared for the big race.