It's been three second place finishes in the last two days for me, so let's hope I can go one better this weekend.
I'm heading to Newbury on Saturday where I ride NELSON'S TOUCH in the first. He put some good performances in last year without winning including the Cheltenham Festival bumper. His debut over hurdles came on the same track a few weeks ago, finishing behind the favourite Whatswrongwithyou. He was a bit keen and a bit green early so expect a bigger run. The favourites will obviously be difficult to beat but he's a really nice horse.
In the big one, the Betfair Hurdle, I'll be on board MISTERTON and after speaking to Noel Fehily anout him, I'm hoping for a big run. He's a strong stayer, which is something you need in a race of this type. Up 4lb after a good 2nd on soft ground at Cheltenham in the Greatwood Hurdle last time out, if the rain does hit as expected then it won't be a hindrance. I look forward to riding him.
All twelve horses have strong claims in the 4.40. It's a really hot race, packed full of bumper winners. I'll be on DANNY KIRWAN who comes from an Irish point-to-point win, I watched the race back and he was visually something to behold. Paul Nicholls would not send him here if he didn't think he had a good chance and I know that Paul really likes him. He's a really promising horse and it would be brilliant to get the win.
On Sunday I'll be at Exeter for two rides, the first on WILLIE McLOVIN for Carroll Gray. This will be the first time I have ridden him and it looks an open enough race. He looks to be progressing with each run and if he can get a place he'll have done well.
My final ride of the weekend is in the Pertemps Qualifier at 3.05. We've been bitterly disappointed with DANCING SHADOW this season who never got going in the four-miler at Musselburgh last week. He's had a few sharp reminders at home, will have the blinkers on and he needs to rekindle his form. A Novice Hurdle winner at Exeter earlier in the season, he stays well and drier ground will aid his chances. He needs a turnaround but he's more than capable.
It should be a cracking couple of days with some top class horses on show. Enjoy.