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Well Chief

Well Chief
Sire Night Shift
Dam Wellesiena
Damsire Scenic
Gender Gelding
Foaled 1999
Country Germany
Color Charcoal
Breeder Gestut Norina
Owner David Johnson
Trainer David Pipe
Record 23: 10-4-3
Earnings £497,691
Well Chief is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Wellesiena by Night Shift. He was born around 1999 in Germany, and was bred by Gestut Norina.
Major wins
Adonis Juvenile Novices' Hurdle (2003)
Elite Hurdle (2003)
Arkle Challenge Trophy (2004)
Maghull Novices' Chase (2004)
Victor Chandler Chase (2005)
Celebration Chase (2005)
Game Spirit Chase (2007)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

Well Chief is a race horse currently trained in Britain by David Pipe and owned by David Johnson.


Early life

He started his racing career as a Flat horse in Germany trained by Ralf Suerland and made his debut in a Listed race at Dortmund, which he won. He went on to have 3 more starts for the trainers, 2 of those in Group 3 class and the other in Group 2 class, where he finished 6th, 9th and 7th respectively.

Owner Change

Well Chief was then bought by David Johnson, and sent to England to be trained by Martin Pipe. He made his British debut in a maiden hurdle at Taunton in February 2003, where he won by an encouraging 5 lengths. He was immediately stepped up in class later that month and he took the step up in his stride as went on to win the Grade 2 Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton. In his next start, which was still only his third over hurdles, Well Chief contested the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, where he was denied by only a head when finishing 2nd to Spectroscope. In his final race of the season, he was sent off a warm 2/1 favourite for the Grade 1 4-Y-O Novices' Hurdle at Aintree in April, but could only finish a 2 1/2 length 3rd to 33/1 winner, Le Duc.


He made his seasonal reappearance the following season (2003/04) in the Elite Hurdle in November, where Well Chief won by just under 2 lengths, and in the process shaved 0.2 seconds of the course record which had stood for nearly 9 years. After winning the Gerry Feilden hurdle later that month, Well Chief embarked on a novice chasing campaign in February 2004. After winning a Novices Chase at Taunton, he was stepped straight up to Grade 1 class at the Cheltenham Festival, where he was sent off a 9/1 shot for the Arkle Challenge Trophy, which he won by a length from Kicking King. He followed that up with another victory in the Maghull Novices' Chase, which was his final appearance of that season.

He reappeared in 2004/05 season in a Handicap Chase at Chleltenham in November, where he finished a head 2nd to Armaturk. He then went on to contest the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown, in what turned out to be one of the greatest ever races, he finished 1 1/2 length 3rd to the great Moscow Flyer, with Azertyuiop finishing 2nd. After that run, he was sent off a warm odds on favourite for the Castleford Chase at Wetherby, in which he was travelling supremely well and poised to make his move when he fell at the fourth last fence. He resumed winning ways in his next race with a victory in the Victor Chandler Chase. He ran very well in his next 2 runs, firstly finishing 2nd to Azertyuiop in the Game Spirit Chase and then filling the same spot behind Moscow Flyer in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. he then deservedly got his head in front in the Celebration Chase at Sandown in April, where he beat old rival Azertyuiop.


Well Chief then suffered a severe leg injury, which kept him out for nearly 2 years.[1] But he came back from the injury in the 2007 Game Spirit Chase, where he was sent off the 5/2 2nd favourite behind Ashley Brook. After nearly 2 years of the track he put in a superb performance to beat the favourite by 11 lengths, and was sent off the Evens favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase on his next start, but fell early on in the race, which was eventually won by Voy Por Ustedes. He then had one more run, where he returned to Aintree, where he was sent off an odds on favourite for the Melling Chase, but could only finish 3rd behind Monet's Garden.

Well Chief returned to action in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the 2009 Cheltenham Festival finishing second behind Master Minded.

External links


  1. Lee, Alan (December 3, 2007). "Setback puts Well Chief on sidelines" (in EN). London: timesonline.com. pp. 1. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/racing/article2987582.ece. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 


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