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    Azertyuiop Flourishing Two Decades After Triumph in Champion Chase
Azertyuiop Flourishing Two Decades After Triumph in Champion Chase
Azertyuiop by Nick Robson

Azertyuiop Flourishing Two Decades After Triumph in Champion Chase

John Hales, a prominent figure in the world of horse racing, is commemorating the remarkable victory of his celebrated horse, Azertyuiop, in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, as it marks its 20th anniversary this year.

Before forging his current alliance with Sir Alex Ferguson and Ged Mason, Hales' distinctive yellow silks adorned with a red star were a common sight on British racecourses. This iconic ensemble gained recognition primarily through the success of another Champion Chase victor, One Man, who excelled in longer distances, securing notable wins such as the Hennessy Gold Cup, the King George twice, and the Charlie Hall twice before triumphing in the Cheltenham event in 1998.

Hales' illustrious career also includes victories in prestigious races like the Grand National with Neptune Collonges, two Supreme Novices' Hurdles with Noland and Al Ferof, and an additional Champion Chase title with Politologue.

Azertyuiop, named after the top line of a French keyboard, emerged as a standout performer in the era of two-mile chasers, alongside formidable rivals like Moscow Flyer, Well Chief, and Flagship Uberalles. Hales fondly reflects on Azertyuiop's enduring legacy, as the 27-year-old horse still roams the fields alongside Neptune Collonges and Al Ferof.

Despite Azertyuiop's modest tally of Grade One victories, which included the Arkle and the Champion Chase, his significance in the competitive landscape of two-mile chasers remains indelible. The enthralling encounters between Azertyuiop and Moscow Flyer, notably in the Tingle Creek at Sandown, have etched memorable chapters in racing history.

Looking ahead, Hales expresses his optimism for the upcoming Festival, highlighting promising contenders like Kalif Du Berlais and Caldwell Potter. The recent acquisition of Caldwell Potter, a €740,000 purchase from Ireland, has sparked excitement within Hales, who plans to focus on nurturing these talents for future success.

As Hales continues to uphold his passion for horse racing and nurture a new generation of champions, his enduring legacy in the sport remains a testament to his unwavering dedication and love for the turf.

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