Scu Says “He’ll strip fitter and I fancy his chances”
I haven't ridden a winner over the Christmas period so it's been a bit frustrating in that respect but quite a few horses have run well including Thistlecrack in the King George so there has been plenty of positives.
I was really pleased with Thistlecrack's run and I probably did the winner Clan Des Obeaux a dis-service beforehand because I didn't expect that he'd be the one to beat me. However he is clearly an improving young horse, and a horse that Paul Nicholls has made no secret of the high regard he holds him in. It was a tremendous race and the winner was very impressive.
When you think what Clan Des Obeaux did at Kempton and Kemboy showed at Leopardstown, there are some young stars coming through, and along with Native River, those three look the ones to beat in the Gold Cup. In terms of Thistlecrack, I understand from Colin he's come out of the King George fine so that's great. At Kempton last week he jumped as well as he's ever jumped. The difference from two years ago, is that back then we then went to Cheltenham in January to get more experience, whereas this time we are going to head straight for the Gold Cup. He's now had 8 runs over fences so he has the experience and we also know he acts at Cheltenham.
Review of the Year and Look Ahead to 2019
The last six months of 2018 have been better than the first six months. My highlight was winning the Ladbrokes Trophy and whilst numbers-wise this season isn't necessarily spectacular, quality-wise it's going as well as any so I'm really happy with that. The aim for next year is to keep the quality up and try and get a bit more quantity too, but I can't complain as everything is going very nicely and David has a lot of really nice young horses to look forward to. With Colin Tizzard and Neil Mulholland supporting me as well, I'm really happy.
12.40 Exeter – Extra Mag
Extra Mag would have won last time. It was very frustrating as he stumbled after the last when going to win. It was one of those nightmare scenarios for a jockey as he jumped the hurdle fine, took two strides, stumbled and then changed direction and I had no chance of staying on. It's one of those occasions where you are mortified as you know you would have won the race. I'm hoping I can get compensation tomorrow as he's a horse I like a lot.
1.15 Exeter – Dandulo Du Gite
He won nicely around Stratford and then ran okay last time. It's a good little race but he wouldn't be without a chance. Neil's horses are running really well which helps.
1.50 Exeter – Glen Vine
I was really pleased with his first run. He's out of Gaspara so we know the family very well. It was a good run round Worcester and the form has been franked since. He has schooled nicely so should go well but more importantly he's a horse with a nice future.
2.25 Exeter – Wizard's Bridge
He can be an in and out performer. When he's good he's good and when he's bad he's awful so hopefully he'll put his best foot forward tomorrow
3.00 Exeter – White Moon
Things haven't gone right for him over fences so far. He had a nasty fall at Cheltenham and then his confidence took a bit of a knock around Exeter. He did jump better though and was more fluent over the last few fences there. The drop back in trip should be fine given the testing going and Colin seems to have found a good opportunity.
3.35 Exeter – Sizing Brisbane
He ran a good race at Lingfield last time as he desperately needed that. It was his first run for a long time and he just got tired. He has obviously been a difficult horse to train. He should strip fitter now and I fancy his chances.
4.05 Exeter – New Age Dawning
He was second in an Irish Point to Point to a horse that's gone to Evan Williams. He's bred to be a chaser so whatever he does before then is a bonus
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