This decent bit of rain means racing conditions are near enough perfect and Tuesday’s meeting at Exeter promises to provide plenty of clues for stars of the future.
The RGB Buildings Supplies Novices’ Hurdle is a race to keep your eye on and with 43 entries its sure to produce some future high class performers that will make their presence felt in the months ahead. Melodic Rendezvous began his campaign in the equivalent race two years ago and although he was beaten that day he went on to win five on the trot.
There are so many highly regarded horses entered that it looks set to be a cracking renewal with the likes of Zulu Oscar, Miles To Memphis, Alcala and Urubu D’Irlande.
The beginners’ chase is another interesting race with Far West, second in the Triumph Hurdle in 2013 when beaten 15 lengths by Our Conor, set to make his chasing debut. He’s five now and he is sure to have improved. Nicholls has also entered Aldopicgros, unbeaten in his last three starts and another having his first start over fences. It is first start for JP McManus and it will be interesting to see how he goes. Fingers crossed for a great meeting with lots of clues to the season ahead.
Wincanton, my local track, began its season yesterday, and it’s always good to be back there, especially as a rode the winner of the second race, I’m In Charge, trained by Grant Cann.
Grant was one of the greatest amateurs of his era and I’ve ridden for him for many years, starting out in point-to-points and now under Rules. He’s always stayed very loyal to me and its lovely when I can ride a winner for him.
Grant is one of the people who got me going and without him and wouldn’t be where I am. I really enjoy riding for him. He’s an old fashioned horseman and knows his horses better than himself.
Grant hadn’t had a winner on the track for 800 days, although he’s had a lot pointing and it was a brilliant training performance as the horse wouldn’t be the easiest to train and he had it right on the day. So starving myself to do 10st5lb while having a proper bout of flu has been worth it! I hasten I can do lighter, its just that I’ve been laid up feeling pretty ropey!
Today, the first meeting of Cheltenham’s season takes place, and it’s a sign that jump racing is well and truly getting into its stride. I ride On The Bridge for Jeremy Scott in the Pertemps Hurdle, a race he finished fourth in last year. He is such a consistent horse and it would be great if the handicapper would just give him a bit of break as he always runs true to form. H has all the conditions in his favour and I am hoping he will run a big race.