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While the prize is the same as the other three monthly rewards, taking the March monthly competition in the Ten To Follow delivers that extra kudos for players.

That kudos goes to Des and Kevin Kehoe, from County Waterford whose Hurricane Heights stables landed the £10,000 (€11,000) first prize.

To make the achievement even more impressive, the duo were responsible for 14 of the top 20 scoring stables, and tied top-spot with two of their teams.

Their winning teams named an impressive eight victors at Prestbury Park including the blue riband winner on Friday.

“It was fantastic,” Des told Tote.

“As the week went on we were aware of how we were doing, but as it all got closer we were kind of looking out for hoses we didn’t want to win as well as your own, so we had a good interest in every race really!

“It all culminated in the Gold Cup, where we were screaming at the TV for Minella Indo, it was just great.

The victory for Jack Kennedy and his partner sealed a victory for the Kehoes which would have been lost had A Plus Tard provided Rachael Blackmore with another Cheltenham winner.

“We’re from County Wexford and Henry De Bromhead would definitely be our favourite trainer, being based in the next county, Waterford. Myself and my brother are both big fans of both A Plus Tard and Rachael Blackmore so it was ironic that it was getting them beat did it for us!”

Envoi omission bears fruit

Another (recently added) member of the De Bromhead team that had a major say on the March prize, without winning, was Envoi Allen.

While the two-time Festival winner was present in 66% of stables, he featured in none of the Kehoe’s 110 entries - a bold move that paid off with his early exit in the Marsh Novices’ Chase.

Although they didn’t have the favourite for the race, they did have none other than Chantry House present in their winning team.

“Kevin, although he’s since admitted that he was wrong, thought that Envoi Allen maybe wasn’t quite all he was made up to be [at the start of the season],” Des explained.

“You wouldn’t necessarily want to win it in those circumstances, but it was just a mathematical thing that we thought surely he was going to be in a high percentage of teams, so were he not to perform you know then that it rockets it up the leaderboard. It was nearly a perfect storm for us.”

Nicky Henderson’s eventual winner of the race could have a major say on the rest of the competition for the brothers, with another of their stables sat in ninth position in the overall leaderboard.

Chantry House Cheltenham

Asked whether he’s contemplated winning the whole competition, Des admits that the pair have thought about it, but are just grateful for their five-figure win that’s in the bag.

“We had a quick look and it seems a lot of people have a lot of the same horses and it’ll be one or two stand-outs that make the difference. Chantry House would be the one for us; if he performs that could be a big thing. 

“You have to dream, but either way it’s been great fun. It’s a brilliant competition, we’ve got a great buzz out of it.

A big win first time out for brothers

Amazingly, Des is toasting a big win at the first time of asking when it comes to playing the Ten To Follow. 

It was down to the current situation across the world and the impact it had on racing that prompted entries for the brothers.

“When we’re able to, we go to a good bit of racing in Ireland with friends, but the fact that we weren’t able to meant we thought ‘why not?’ and stuck a few quid into the competition.”

As for the stable name, Hurricane Heights, it doesn’t take a genius to notice that a certain 22-time Grade 1 winner had some input.

“My brother was a massive fan of Hurricane Fly - he followed him everywhere right from the start, so anything like this we always add the Hurricane element to it.

“So he brings the hurricane and this win brings us the heights!”

While ‘The Fly’ was an easy moniker to take for the team, Des suggested that there’s an obvious way to enjoy their €11,000.

“There are not too many ways to spend the cash at the moment, but I’d say that Covid-permitting there’s a good chance that we’ll be making a trip over to Cheltenham next year, and we won’t have to worry about the expenses; so there’ll be a lot of champagne to be had!

“We’ve been going for the last few years and it’s fantastic, and if you could bottle what Cheltenham does to people we’d all be millionaires!”

We wish Des and Kevin all the best for the bid for the £104,832 top prize.

March’s Winning Stables

Hurricane Heights 17

Honeysuckle - 52.9 points
Shishkin - 52.3 points
Appreciate It - 27.52 points
Minella Indo - 62.2 points
Put The Kettle On - 60.4 points
Allaho - 55.6 points
Chantry House - 39.3 points
Monkfish - 52.12 points
Janidil - 0 points
Sire Du Berlais - 0 points

Hurricane Heights 23

Honeysuckle - 52.9 points
Shishkin - 52.3 points
Appreciate It - 27.52 points
Minella Indo - 62.2 points
Put The Kettle On - 60.4 points
Allaho - 55.6 points
Chantry House - 39.3 points
Monkfish - 52.12 points
Thyme Hill - 0 points
Sire Du Berlais - 0 points


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