Nick runs through his weekend rides at Hereford and Southwell
It was nice to have a winner on Friday onboard Peter The Mayo Man for Paul Nicholls. There was a slight concern over his jumping but he put it all together and he’s definitely one to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
This weekend I’m off to Hereford on Saturday where I ride PAISLEY PARK in the 12.55 Novice Hurdle. To be honest, I was a bit annoyed to see Vision Des Flos declared by the Tizzard team as the form of his Chepstow form sets a pretty high standard. That said, my horse is a nice type who made a pleasing debut in a bumper at Warwick back in January but after such a long break it’s only natural he will come on for the run.
In the 15.15 I ride top weight THE MAD WELL and there is some hope based on his Exeter third when last seen. He’s changed trainer since that run and it does look a winnable race with Cougar Kid likely to be the one to beat.
In the concluding bumper I ride NOWHERETOEXIT for trainer David Rees. He made a nice debut although he was ultimately well beaten. The main thing for my one is that he won’t want it soft, if the ground does turn. he will more than likely struggle. It doesn’t look the strongest of bumpers unless one of the newcomers is something special so we go there with a hope.
Sunday sees me travel to Southwell for two rides for Jack Barber.
In the first race REDMOND is one I’m looking forward to. He’s been doing everything well at home and has schooled really well for me. It will be his first run for Jack since leaving Venetia Williams, and he’s the type of horse Jack has been excelling with. He’s off a fairly low mark and if he can translate what he shows at home to the track, it’s a mark he should be more than capable of winning off.
In the 14.05 Novices’ Hurdle BEYOND SUPREMACY is one who disappointed last time out. Again, he’s one that works well at home but this does look a tough race so he may be one to keep on side for later in the season.
The big race on Saturday is the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup and Paul Nicholls looks to have a strong hand. Clan Des Obeaux is the favourite but it will take a big performance to win off top weight. I was impressed by his other runner Le Prezien last time out so he should be bang there. One at a bigger price who I think should run well though is FOXTAIL HILL. He goes well at the course and the smaller field on Saturday will suit him too.
Also on the card at Cheltenham, the International Hurdle looks a brilliant little race. It will be great to see Sam Twiston-Davies back after his injury lay-off and he adores The New One who won this race last year. He looks set to go off favourite ahead of Willie Mullins' Melon who will still be learning his trade compared to others in the race and along with TNO will have to give 6lb to My Tent Or Yours. If the ground doesn’t deteriorate, the form of his last three runs in the summer sets the bar high and he is arguably the class angle in the race having finished runner-up in two Champion Hurdles.