Born in Britain, Graham Motion returned to Cheltenham with American champion Flatterer for the 1987 Champion Hurdle. The four-time Eclipse Award-winner finished second to three-time Champion Hurdle winner See You Then. Motion returned to America, set up shop as a flat trainer and won the Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup with Animal Kingdom.
First Cheltenham memory?
Leading Flatterer back to unsaddling enclosure after his 2nd in the Champion Hurdle.
If you could have trained one Cheltenham horse in history…who and why?
See You Then was brilliant and fragile and he was a challenge to train.
Why is it so special?
It’s a championship run in challenging circumstances.
What’s your biggest concern/fear regarding Cheltenham?
Name one horse you train or have trained who could have been competitive at the Festival.
Better Talk Now could have handled a race like the Champion Hurdle, he was made for it.
Best race/moment you’ve experienced there.
Obviously Flatterer, although I might not have appreciated it at the time.
Worst race/moment you’ve experienced there.
I traveled with Summer Colony for the Sport Of Kings Novice race and he ran poorly and didn’t cool out well.
Words of advice for first-time Cheltenham goer.
Walk the course if you’re competing. Pace yourself if you’re drinking!
Best advice you’ve received about Cheltenham.
Make your move coming down the hill – we didn’t.
Describe your experience with Flatterer.
Trip of a lifetime. Even though I was born and raised in England I didn’t realize what we were taking on.
One winner for this year’s meet.
We’ll be rooting for Oliver Sherwood where my niece, Mary, has spent the winter.