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Date added: 16 March 2006

Swindon trainer crowned the King of Cheltenham 

Robert Thornton celebrates on top of My Way To Solzen, the Alan King trained winner of the World Hurdle at Cheltenham 2006 - copyright racingfotos.com
On top of the world:
jockey Robert Thornton celebrates
with Alan King and the connections
of My Way To Solzen.
racingfotos.com
Swindon trainer Alan King is the toast of horse racing tonight after recording his second major success at the Cheltenham Festival.
 
Already lauded for guiding his horse, Voy Por Ustedes, to win the prestigious Arkle Chase on Tuesday, King has followed up in grand style by capturing the World Hurdle title as well today with My Way To Solzen.
 
The 8-1 shot pipping Golden Cross on the line in a thrilling finish. The favourite, and two-time winner Baracouda was fifth.
 
"Robert [Thornton, the jockey] gave him a beautiful ride and I'm just delighted for the whole team," a ecstatic King said.
 
"We really are having a marvellous week, aren't we!?"

Strongly fancied after landing the totesport.com National Spirit Hurdle in the mud at Fontwell last month, it was thought that the ground wouldn't quite be soft enough for My Way To Solzen to challenge in such a high class field. King even considered withdrawing the horse after inspecting the 3 mile course early in the day.
 
My Way To Solzen leads Golden Cross up the hill at Cheltenham 2006 - copyright racingfotos.com
Staying ahead:
My Way To Solzen leads Golden Cross and the rest of
the field up the hill to win the World Hurdle title
racingfotos.com

But after getting the all clear and settling well early on, the bay gelding moved nicely into position and led the field over the final hurdle.
 
The six-year-old stayer then holding on by the narrowest of margins after coming under pressure from Golden Cross and a fast-finishing Mighty Man.
 
The horses' owners picked up just over 130,000 for the win.
Double celebration.
 
Earlier in the week, King had also hit the jackpot with the victory of stablemate Voy Por Ustedes in the Arkle Chase.
 
Robert Thornton again on board to win what had been billed as 'the most competitive race of year's national hunt festival'.
 
Alan King at Barbury Castle - copyright racingfotos.com
King of the Castle:
Alan King in preparation for Cheltenham
at
his training ground near Barbury Castle
racingfotos.com
Unbeaten after four runs over fences, Voy Por Ustedes saw off the hugley fancied Irish horse Accordion Etoile (who fell) and Martin Pipe's well-backed Tamarinbleu to take home the 79,828 first prize.
 
"He ran his heart out," the Wroughton-based handler said, "I couldn't have asked for a better run."
 
Always in the leading group, the French-bred five-year-old was neck-and-neck with outsider Monet's Garden going to the final fence.
 
But when asked to step up a gear by jockey Robert Thornton, the 15/2 shot responded in style and pulled away up the hill to win by 2 lengths.
 
Voy Por Ustedes leads Monet's Garden over the last in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham, 14 March 2006 - copyright racingfotos.com
Natural jumper:
Alan King's Voy Por Ustedes leads Monet's Garden
over the last in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham
racingfotos.com

King now has three winners to his name at the Festival. His horse Fork Lightning landed the first, the William Hill Trophy, in 2004.
 
 Alan King Racing - official site
 
 Alan King Racing - more information
 
 Cheltenham Festival - official site
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