24th November 2017

The Clydesdales are coming!

All roads lead to Exeter Racecourse on Sunday where, aside from a very good seven race card, Salvo, Solo, Siryl, Phil, Frankie Doodle and Midge will be lining up to take part in the annual Clydesdale race, run as a fund raiser for the Devon Air Ambulance.

It was great to be a part of the build up for the day although wearing a bright red flight suit on the middle of Dartmoor while galloping a Clydesdale was a tad embarrassing. Still, it’s all for a very good cause and the pictures were great.

It was good to catch up that day with Becky Kennen who gave me my first ever point-to-point winner on Sea Snipe. Becky’s brother Tim Ancrum owns the Clydesdales so it’s a lovely association.

The racing has been fantastic over the past few weeks and I’ve been lucky enough to have plenty of rides.

The 2015 Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen was hugely impressive on his comeback run at  Punchestown on Sunday in the Morgiana Hurdle. You wonder on that performance how anything can beat him.  He beat some very good horses including Jezki and Swamp Fox. He’s now the 9-4 favourite for the Unibet Champion Hurdle in March. It will be interesting to see how the reigning champion Buveur D’Air gets on in the Fighting Fifth on December 2.

It’s tough on Ruby Walsh that he’s out injured after he broke his leg on Saturday. It’s tough at any time of the year to get injured, but at this time of year, when Willie Mullin’s big guns are starting to come out, it’ll be annoying for him having to watch from the side lines. He’ll bounce back and hopefully we’ll see him at the Festival in March.

It’s great that Yanworth is none the worse for his fall at Exeter last week and he’s on track to run return soon. It’s a shame that we won’t see last year’s Gold Cup winner Sizing John line up in tomorrow’s Betfair Chase at Haydock Park as his trainer Jessica Harrington says the ground will be too heavy for him, but its shaping up to be a cracking race with Bristol De Mai and Cue Card among the contenders. Everyone will be routing for Cue Card to jump round. He’s a real people’s horse, and good luck to Harry Cobden who gets the leg up for the first time. People talk of the pressure of having such a prestigious ride but once you’re out there, you focus on the job in hand and do the best you can for the horse.

It’s set to be a cracking card, with the Betfair Chase something of a Gold Cup trial, although the ground will be heavy which can change things quite a lot.

Cheltenham’s three day Open meeting didn’t disappoint with some really good performances including Apple’s Jade’s sister Apple’s Shakira who was very impressive in the juvenile hurdle on only her second ever start.

Today’s jump action comes from Catterick, Ffos Las and Ascot and then tomorrow we’re at Huntingdon, Haydock and Ascot.