Shammick Boy up for the Cup as Alison Delve lives Cheltenham dream

Alison Delve will achieve a lifelong dream at the Cheltenham Festival tomorrow as part-owner of Coral Cup contender Shammick Boy.

Delve, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2003 when she fell pregnant with her son and is now confined to a scooter, won a share in the Victor Dartnall-trained 10-year-old in October through a competition run by Exeter Racecourse.

He has since rattled off a hat-trick of wins at Exeter, Wincanton and Kempton to earn himself a trip to the showpiece meeting.

“I didn’t expect to win the competition, let alone get to Cheltenham,” said Delve.

“It has been a once in a lifetime experience and Victor has been absolutely brilliant. He’s become such a good friend now and I have enjoyed every single minute of my experience.

“I was always involved in racing before I got MS and became confined to my scooter and I am very proud to say that I actually led up AP McCoy in 1994 when he rode.”

Despite his winning run, Shammick Boy will head to Prestbury Park as an outsider for one of the most fiercely competitive handicaps of the Festival.

Dartnall said: “He’s in great form and we’re really looking forward to the Festival. He’s won his last three races, which has put him up to a career high so we’ve decided to claim 5lb off him with Sean Bowen, the conditional star of the season.

“I suppose the one thing in his favour is that the ground is drying out and if he finished in the first 10 we would be absolutely delighted.”

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