Sam Twiston-Davies and Hello Bud

06th December 2013

Sam Twiston-Davies on the Becher Chase Meeting at Aintree

Twelve months ago, jockey Sam Twiston-Davies enjoyed a famous day when he won both the Becher Chase and Grand Sefton Chase.   He is Aintree's guest columnist and he assesses his chances of a double-double at Aintree Racecourse.

The Betfred Becher Chase is one of my favourite races of the year and I think I have a great chance of winning it again on Baby Run on Saturday. I have fond memories of this meeting one year ago when I won the Becher Chase on Hello Bud and the Grand Sefton Chase on Little Josh.

Baby Run last raced over two and a half years ago.  It’s great to have him back and the Betfred Becher Chase has been the plan for a long time.

My father Nigel is very good at getting horses fit to run first time out and we sent him for a racecourse gallop at Towcester recently, so I am confident he will run a big race.  Hello Bud won it when he was 14 years old; so Baby Run can do it at 13!

He’s a straightforward horse and I can settle him into the field to run his own race.  He’s run in the Fox Hunters twice – winning it in 2011 – so he knows what The Crabbie’s Grand National fences are all about.

Hello Bud meant a lot to me and so does Baby Run, so fingers crossed he runs well.

In the Betfred Grand Sefton Chase, my ride is set to be Frontier Spirit.  He’s a different horse from last year’s winner Little Josh.  He is a good jumper and comes into the race with a chance after making his seasonal debut at Wetherby last month.

Elsewhere on the Aintree card I expect to be riding Unioniste for trainer Paul Nicholls in the Listed Betfred “Hat Trick Heaven” Chase. He would have a very strong chance as he will be fitter for his run in the Charlie Hall Chase.  He has won at Aintree before and that will stand him in good stead.

Of course, coming to Aintree makes one think of The Crabbie’s Grand National, even though it is still four months away. At this stage, my most likely ride would be Same Difference.  He won the Kim Muir, one of the races for amateur jockeys at Cheltenham last spring, while I rode him into tenth place in last weekend’s Hennessy Gold Cup.

We have other possibles for next April too.  Red Rocco was runner-up for me in a race on Betfair Chase day at Haydock Park and he’s targeted at the Welsh National after Christmas.  If he runs wells at Chepstow, his handicap mark would go up and he would come into The Crabbie’s Grand National picture, as would Tour Des Champs who was placed for me in last spring’s Scottish Grand National.

Winning the greatest steeple chase of them all would be a dream, but before then I have The New One to look forward to.  He next runs in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham a week on Saturday.  After that all roads lead back to the Festival and the Stan James Champion Hurdle.