High horse: Arizona Cardinal takes home Topham Handicap Chase victory

Apr 12, 2024, 11:08 AM

Arizona Cardinal wins the Topham Handicap Chase race on the second day of the Grand National Festiv...

Jockey Ciaran Gethings celebrates on Arizona Cardinal after winning the Topham Handicap Chase race on the second day of the Grand National Festival horse race meeting at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, north-west England, on April 12, 2024. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinal took home the win on Friday morning. The horse that is, not the NFL franchise.

Given the same namesake as the NFC West squad, the 8-year-old Arizona Cardinal finished first in the Topham Handicap Chase at the Grand National Festival horse race meeting on Friday. Ciaran Gethings was Arizona Cardinal’s jockey.

“Checks out,” said the NFL team on X about Arizona Cardinal’s W.

Arizona Cardinal came from behind to seal the victory on Friday in Liverpool, England, sticking to the fence before bouncing outside to move past James Du Berlais in the final stretch.

“I thought we were beat and I was happy with second,” trainer Stewart Edmunds told Tattersalls Jockey Club Sales. “It’s been a long plan, it’s worked, we’re over the moon!”

Arizona Cardinal has had a strong season, taking home six first-place finishes out of 15 runs.

Who named the horse Arizona Cardinal?

It’s investigative journalism time over here at Arizona Sports.

Before Arizona Cardinal’s recent W, we reached out to his owners — the Oakman Racing Club — to figure out who named the horse and why.

And while there is no definitive answer, we’ve got an idea behind who handed down the namesake.

Born in April 2016 to John Lightfoot in Ireland, Arizona Cardinal went unnamed when he was sold to Paul Cafferty in November 2016. Cafferty then sold the still-unnamed horse in June 2019 to point-to-point trainer Colin Bowe. According to Oakman Racing Club manager Peter Borg-Neal, selling a foal unnamed is a common occurrence in the sport.

Bowe is presumed to have given Arizona Cardinal his name. The horse would go on to win one of the two point-to-point races Bowe ran him in before the trainer sold him at Tattersalls Cheltenham in May 2021 to David Mitson.

Mitson then sold Arizona Cardinal to the Oakman Racing Club in September 2022.

What is point-to-point racing?

Most point-to-point races, or “steeplechases,” span a minimum of three miles and include at least 18 fences that a horse and jockey must traverse.

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High horse: Arizona Cardinal takes home Topham Handicap Chase victory