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Last Updated:  Monday, 10 March, 2003, 15:48 GMT
Dickinson's famous five
The Cheltenham Gold Cup has thrown up many great feats over the years but none more so than in the 1983 race.

1983 CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP
1 Bregawn 100-30F
(G Bradley)
2 Captain John 11-1
(D Goulding)
3 Wayward Lad 6-1
(J O'Neill)
4 Silver Buck 5-1
(R Earnshaw)
5 Ashley House 12-1
(Mr D Browne)

That was the year that Michael Dickinson trained the first five finishers in National Hunt's premier steeplechase.

Dickinson was just 33 at the time and in only his third season as a trainer at Dunkeswick near Harewood in Yorkshire.

Twenty years on, it remains a feat that no other trainer has ever come near to equalling.


The famous five

1. Bregawn (Graham Bradley)

Bregawn had been second in the Gold Cup the previous season. In the 1983 contest, he made all the running and then battled on up the hill to hold off his stablemates.

The horse, now 29, is still alive and living in Ireland.

Graham Bradley
Bradley is appealing against an eight-year ban

For jockey Graham Bradley, it was a Gold Cup victory in just his second ride in the race.

The Yorkshire-born jockey went on to enjoy a long career in the saddle, finally retiring in 1999 at the age of 39 to pursue a career in the bloodstock industry.

However, Bradley's racing life has also been dogged by controversy. He is currently appealing against an eight-year ban from the sport after admitting passing on privileged information.

2. Captain John (David Goulding)

Finished five lengths behind the winner and one-and-a-half lengths ahead of Wayward Lad. The horse ended his days in Newmarket.

Goulding is now a farmer and sheepdog trainer in Cumbria. His nephew Liam Cooper is a rising star in National Hunt and is trainer Jonjo O'Neill's stable jockey.

3. Wayward Lad (Jonjo O'Neill)

A very popular three-time King George VI Chase winner who did not quite get the trip at Cheltenham. He came second in the Festival's big race three years later when just edged out by Dawn Run (who was ironically ridden by O'Neill).

Trainer Jonjo O'Neill
O'Neill is now a successful trainer
Wayward Lad retired at the end of the following season. Now 28, he lives in America.

Former champion jockey O'Neill is now a leading trainer, based at the famous Jackdaws Castle stables not far from Cheltenham.

4. Silver Buck (Robert Earnshaw)

Silver Buck had won the Gold Cup in the previous year but was beaten by a distance in 1983. He was the only one of the five to die while still in training, suffering a haemorrhage at the age of 12.

Earnshaw, who was the Dickinson stable jockey, now works for the Jockey Club as a stipendiary steward.

5. Ashley House (Dermot Browne)

Faded badly on the run-in but still managed to hang on to finish fifth. He was given special dispensation by the Cheltenham authorities to go into the winner's enclosure (usually it is the first four).

Now aged 29, he is out at pasture in Ireland.

Browne was an amateur at the time of the 1983 but went on to take out a professional licence and later became a trainer.

But he is now a disgraced figure after admitting doping horses, for which he has been banned from racing for 20 years.

Winning trainer: Michael Dickinson

Dickinson had taken over his parents' stables in 1980 and enjoyed huge success, being crowned champion trainer three times and sending out a record 12 winners on Boxing Day in 1982.

Trainer Michael Dickinson
Dickinson now trains in the US

But he left the yard and the National Hunt code in 1984 to train for Robert Sangster on the Flat. It was an ill-fated venture and Dickinson then moved to the US.

He has won the Breeders' Cup Mile twice and still trains in Maryland.

He returned to the Festival this year for only the third time since he emigrated.


CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2003

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