Mouse Morris – Cheltenham Festival Trainer

Mouse Morris has been one of the most influential trainers in Irish National Hunt racing for the past 30 years. Morris began his career in Irish National Hunt racing as an amateur jockey, notching up an impressive string of victories during a career that saw him win three major races at the Cheltenham Festival, including the National Hunt Chase and two Queen Mother Champions Chases.

Once his days as a jockey were over, Mouse Morris quickly turned his hand to training and was fortunate to get his hands on a champion racehorse relatively early in his career as a Cheltenham Festival trainer. When Morris acquired Buckhouse, the horse gave immediate momentum to Morris’ career winning the Novices’ Hurdle at the 1983 Cheltenham Festival.

When Buckhouse made a successful transition to steeplechases, he earned his trainer a major win at the Cheltenham Festival when he took the 1986 Queen Mother Champion Chase. Unfortunately tragedy struck just as this spirited racehorse was about to make a big impact on National Hunt racing, and Buckhouse died of colic two months after his victory at the Cheltenham Festival.

Mouse Morris, Cheltenham Festival trainer, had to wait until 1990 for his next Cheltenham Festival win, when Charlie Swan rode Trapper John to victory in Cheltenham Festival Stayers’ Hurdle. In 1993 Cahervillahow came within a hair’s breath of winning the greatest handicap in National Hunt racing when he placed second in the Grand National. The placing may have been a mixed blessing, as the race result was annulled due to a false start.

The turn of the millennium saw Mouse Morris continue to win minor races at meetings in Ireland and England without claiming major honours at any of the meetings. This was to change in 2003 when Morris acquired War Of Attrition. War Of Attrition had endured an uneasy start to his career, winning a few important races but only managing to place second in several more.

However, in 2006 War Of Attrition overcame a brief period of illness to hand Mouse Morris, Cheltenham Festival trainer, the event’s biggest prize. The 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup hosted a packed field as favourites Best Mate and Kicking King were withdrawn from the race. War Of Attrition made the most of their absence and raced an excellent race, powering away in the final stretch to win his trainer the Gold Cup.