17th November 2017

Two winners make for a good day at Ludlow

It was good day at Ludlow yesterday where I rode a double. The first was for Emma Lavelle on a horse called Dark Mahler who was an easy winner of the novices’ chase on his chasing debut. It was a good performance and he ought to step up on that.

The Happy Chappy followed up in the Heath Farm Meats Handicap Chase for Sarah Humphrey which was great as Sarah trains just a handful of horses in Cambridgeshire.

Cheltenham’s three day November meeting begins today and I’m delighted to be on Beau Roman in the Bet Victor Chase, a race he won last year.

We’re up against the likes of Exitas who’s been in great form recently, winning three of his last four starts and he’s gone up in the weights since his last win at Ascot. Sixteen-year-old James Bowen, who has such a promising future, is in the saddle.

Finian’s Oscar will be in action today and I think a lot of people will be hoping he wins, following the death of his owner Alan Potts who died on Sunday.

He won his chasing bow at Chepstow, jumping better the further he went and today he’s in the Steep Plate and Sections Novices’ Chase where he faces just three opponents with William Henry and Movewiththetimes in the line up.

Tomorrow’s card features the Grade 3 BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase, formerly the Paddy Power, with runners including top weight Kylemore Lough who’ll be having his first start for Harry Fry and I think he’ll be popular in the betting. Foxtail Hill and Le Prezien reoppose each other with the former defeating the latter at the course in October by a neck.

Cesarewitch runner up London Prize, who landed last weekend’s Unibet Elite Hurdle at Wincanton, looks likely to line up in the Unibet Greatwood and if he can land both, it would be a great achievement.

It was good to see Melodic Rendezvous retire sound and in one piece after the Elite last weekend. He’s been a brilliant horse, carrying the flag for Jeremy Scott, and he gave me some fantastic spins. I think I rode him about 19 times in all, and we made our racecourse debut together at Chepstow back in 2012 when he won the bumper in really good style. The highlight was winning the Grade One Tolworth, my first ever Grade One winner, and it’s a day I will never forget. He gave me a terrific spin, and when you’re going that speed on a really good jumper, there’s nothing quite like it.

He’ll enjoy a long and cosseted retirement with one of his part owners John Govier on Exmoor, and he deserves it as he’s been so tough and such a trier, with a heart of gold to match.

Exeter staged another great meeting on Wednesday and the stand out performance for me was White Moon in the novices’ hurdle who looked really impressive despite carrying a penalty. He looks likely to shape up into a Neptune Investment horse at the Cheltenham Festival.

It was disappointing to see Yanworth fall, but it was a green error and it looked like he just landed a little steeply and came down. He’ll hopefully learn from that and if his confidence hasn’t taken too much of a denting he’ll come back fighting.