There's no stopping the odd couple

Henrietta Knight and Terry Biddlecombe are now a formidable combination

They were racing's most unlikely couple when they married three years ago, the well-spoken Henrietta Knight and the drink-damaged Terry Biddlecombe, the sport's Posh and wrecked if you like.

They were racing's most unlikely couple when they married three years ago, the well-spoken Henrietta Knight and the drink-damaged Terry Biddlecombe, the sport's Posh and wrecked if you like.

As one, however, they have formed a significant team fighting out of the West Lockinge Farm near Wantage and yesterday came their greatest moment of all with a double here in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Royal & SunAlliance Chase.

Biddlecombe remains one of the great heroes of the National Hunt game even if the former champion jockey has not ridden a horse in anger for almost 30 years. These days he quietly assists his trainer wife, though the mantle of one of the sport's great buccaneering figures still hangs on him.

Biddlecombe used to be a fearless figure either on horseback or the bar stool. The talent was such that he was stable jockey to both Fred Rimell and Fulke Walwyn and he won the Gold Cup here on Woodland Venture in 1967.

On his last ride at the Festival, in the Cathcart Chase which used to close the meeting, his fellow riders conspired to ensure Biddlecombe was last to the start. He was applauded from the stands every step of the way as went down on Amarind.

They still love Terry and he probably went home with shaker's cramp last night. He looks as he always did, a face shaped and coloured by various forces in the early morning and late at night, but the clothes are a bit different these days. Tweeds, don't you know, and a brown trilby hat.

Biddlecombe may have raised hell, and indeed probably put it through school, but the times when he went walkabout, appropriately enough in Australia, are now well behind him. He doesn't drink, but he must have wished he'd saved a couple for the champagne moments of yesterday.

Henrietta Knight cut an interesting figure too in muddied Emma Peel boots and pearls. She has exotica of her own. The sister-in-law of Lord Vestey, the chairman of Cheltenham, and the third Mrs Biddlecombe, she taught biology at Reading Grammar School. A former leading participant in the point-to-point field, Knight has built up a solid reputation after just 10 years with a licence.

And we must not forget the horses which gave Team Lockinge their fourth and fifth Festival winners. Edredon Bleu did well to win a crackling Queen Mother Champion Chase considering the prissy name he takes into battle with him. A translation as blue eiderdown is hardly the stuff to terrify the snorting chargers of racing's sprint-chasing division. A great feature of this race was the torrid climax and the symmetry in the finish of Norman Williamson and Tony McCoy, on the winner. It seemed iniquitous that the former was punished for his efforts.

For the stable jockey, Jim Culloty, it was a first Festival success when Lord Noelie captured the Royal & SunAlliance Chase. The 26-year-old jockey immediately felt the benefits that such a success can bring. "To ride a winner here is just an unbelievable feeling," he said. "I've suddenly got an amazing number of friends.

"I thought it was imperative that he jumped the last three well and he did. He was going to win or lose the race from the last and luckily he put in a flyer. Luckily I'm not riding tomorrow so I'll be able to celebrate."

Knight and Biddlecombe will toast a little more soberly and contemplate further riches and further glories ahead. "I decided to run when I heard the farming forecast on Sunday and the ground was obviously going to be in his favour," the trainer said. "He must have decent ground to jump off.

"This brings thoughts of lots of things, including the Grand National. He'll stay all day and is very honest. We'll consider running him at Aintree next month because he loves this spring ground. But this is the day of my life, winning two such important races here."

The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
Life and Style

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Senior Change Engineer (Network, Cisco, Juniper) £30k

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album