King to parade at Cheltenham

Balthazar King, one of the best Cross Country horses and most popular chasers of recent years, will parade on the first day of The International at Cheltenham on Friday.

Balthazar King will parade on Friday

The 12-year-old, successful on eight of his 18 appearances at Cheltenham, will be in the paddock ahead of this year's Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase before leading out the field to parade in front of the grandstands.

Owned by The Brushmakers, trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Richard Johnson for the vast majority of his career, Balthazar King gained four victories over Cheltenham's Cross Country course including a pair of wins in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at The Festival in 2012 and 2014.

He was also runner-up in the 2014 Grand National and returned from an injury sustained in the Aintree showpiece the following year to run at The Festival last season.

Balthazar King was retired after falling in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase in March, 2016, and now lives with his part-owner David Rees near Winchester.

"We are very pleased that Balthazar King is going to parade at Cheltenham and looking forward to a good day out," remarked Rees.

"Balthazar King will be delighted as he loves the place. He will let us know when he is 10 miles from Cheltenham because he will start knocking the box.

"He won eight races there and it will be like going back home for him.

"He lives on my farm now with our point-to-pointers and is happily enjoying his retirement with days out hunting."

Read More at Sporting Life

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