Ten years after partnering Best Mate to a third con-secutive victory in racing’s most prestigious steeple-chase, Churchtown’s Jim Culloty was back in the winners’ enclosure on Gold Cup day in Cheltenham last week, this time as trainer of the 2014 winning horse, Lord Windermere.

Culloty, who retired from the saddle in 2005 having won 394 races in his National Hunt career including three Gold Cups and a Grand National on Bindaree, has now successfully made the transition to training at his stables in north Cork.

Lord Windermere, an RSA Chase winner in 2012, went into this year’s Cheltenham showpiece as an outsider priced at 50/1. Culloty, who was on a losing streak going all the way back to last August, had Davy Russell, who earlier in the day rode Tiger Roll to victory in the Triumph Hurdle, in the saddle on the Dr. Ronan Lambe-owned gelding. Trailing for much of the race, Lord Windermere finished strongly to pip the Willie Mullins-trained On His Own by a short head. A nail biting stewards’ enquiry into alleged interference followed before it was announced that the result stood.

Meanwhile, on returning home, the celebrations were dampened when the Gold Cup winning trainer discovered that his property in Churchtown had been burgled. In his absence thieves got away with a red Toyota HiLux 4×4 registration no: 07 C 9022 and a quantity of equipment and tools. Gardaí in Mallow are investigating the break-in and are appealing to anyone with information to contact them at 022-31450.

Another local in the winners’ enclosure in Cheltenham was Liscarroll native Richie McLernon who won on the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Holywell, for the second year in a row. McLernon guided the Gay Smith-owned gelding to victory in the Pertemps Hurdle 12 months previously, and with the same patient riding the pair landed the Festival Handicap Chase in comfortable fashion.