- Givemefive made a successful stable debut for Harry Derham last month
- The four-year-old followed up with an impressive win at Warwick on Monday
- He carries the colours of Smash Racing, a syndicate that includes the golf stars
Brooks Kopeka and Graeme McDowell are no strangers to Major triumphs but they are ready for a new kind of thrill after their horse announced himself as major Cheltenham contender.
Givemefive, a four-year-old trained by the upwardly mobile Harry Derham, will be given an entry in the Triumph Hurdle on Tuesday following a swashbuckling performance that enlivened what had appeared to be a run-of-the-mill Monday afternoon at Warwick.
Neither Koepka nor McDowell were on course but they were watching from afar as Givemefive set off in front and galloped further and further clear of his pursuers, eventually winning by 18 lengths to maintain his unbeaten record over obstacles.
McDowell promised he would have a horse in training with Derham after the trainer beat him in a closest-to-the-pin competition at a pro-am a few years ago and stuck to his word, now Derham wants to repay him by providing a victory at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
‘He’s a smart horse, isn’t he?’ said Derham. ‘He knows what he has doing and has come on loads since winning on his debut at Market Rasen. He’s a real professional horse and I know the guys (McDowell, Koepka and fellow owner Daniel Gambill) were watching in Florida.
Golf stars Graeme McDowell and Brooks Koepka are co-owners of highly-rated Givemefive
Smash Racing syndicate includes five-time major champion Koepka (L) and 2010 US Open winner McDowell (R)
‘We were hoping he might run in the Fred Winter (handicap) at Cheltenham but I can’t really believe these words are coming out of my mouth – the entries close for the Triumph (today) and I am going to enter him. He’s won by miles there, carrying a (seven-pound) penalty.
‘There are some very smart horses in the Triumph and maybe it will be better for him to have one more run and go to the Fred Winter. But it’s a very nice problem to have, to be thinking about those things. We’re just delighted.’
Koepka, a five-time Major winner who defected to the LIV tour, wasted no time in posting his glee on X/Twitter, saying: ‘Dominant showing from Givemefive, congrats team.’