Saturday 15 June 2024

Fulke Walwyn


Fulke Walwyn, who died in February, 1991, at the age of 80, is rightly remembered as one of the most successful National Hunt trainers of all time. As far as the Cheltenham Festival is concerned, Walwyn saddled 40 winners between 1946 and 1986, thereby setting a record that stood until finally surpassed by Nicky Henderson. Even today, Walwyn still ranks fourth in the all-time list of the most successful trainers at the Festival, behind Willie Mullins, Henderson and Paul Nicholls, all of whom are, of course, still training. Following his death, his name was added to the title of the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup, a handicap chase for amateur riders currently run on the third day of the Festival.

Of the four main 'championship' races at the Festival, the only one which Walwyn did not win was the Queen Mother Champion Chase. He won the Champion Hurdle twice, with Anzio in 1962 and Kirriemuirin 1965, the Stayers' Hurdle three times, with Crimson Embers, twice, in 1982 and 1986 and Rose Ravine in 1985 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup four times, with Mont Tremblant in 1952, Mandarin in 1962, Mill House in 1963 and The Dikler in 1973. Mill House, still only a six-year-old when he won the Gold Cup, was hailed as the best steeplechaser since Golden Miller, but the rest of his career was overshadowed by Arkle, who beat him in the Gold Cup in 1964 and 1965.