Saturday – Warwick
12.40 – Sensible Friend
He has run a few times. This wouldn’t be the strongest race for a Saturday. He’s been knocking on the door so hopefully tomorrow we can find a way of opening it.
1.50 – White Moon
White Moon is stepping up to three miles, but he has point to point form over that trip. It was a massive confidence booster for him last time around Exeter.
He’s the outside of the four runner field but I was very impressed with him last time and it wouldn’t surprise me at all tomorrow if he put up a massive show.
The race has cut up a bit given the lack of rain. There may even be non-runners tomorrow.
At the moment they are calling it good to soft but if by the time people get there the ground has become quicker some horses may get taken out of races on the day.
He has taken a bit of time because he had a horrible experience when he fell at Cheltenham. The following time at Exeter he was definitely still remembering that.
It took him a couple of fences last time just to get him going, but once it clicked for him he jumped the fences brilliantly up the home straight. He is a very nice horse.
2.25 – Rockpoint
He’s dropping back down in trip to 2m 5f. He was impressive last time at Cheltenham. He jumps and he gallops and he should run well.
Rockpoint is definitely going places. The 5lb penalty makes life a little tougher but there isn’t anything we can do about it, and he deserves the penalty because that’s what happens when you win nice races.
3.00 – Un Temps Pour Tout
It’s nice to get him back over fences. He hasn’t been very straight forward to train. I schooled him a couple of days ago and he jumped very well.
He seems in good order at home. He obviously has to step up on the form of his last run at Aintree, but the fire in his belly still seems to be burning and I’m hopeful he can take another step back in the right direction.
My Grandad always used to say Warwick was the quickest two mile test for horses just because of the layout of the track and the position of the fences.
The emphasis is on speed rather than stamina, and when you face up to the line of fences down the back, you really have to be able to jump well.
If you miss one fence down that far straight, the other horses can get away from you very quickly. So you need a quick, accurate jumper.
This is normally a proper slog but it’s very different this year, so even in the context of a long distance race, the emphasis is going to be more about speed than stamina.
3.35 – First Assignment
It’s great to be able to get back on him. I won on him at Cheltenham earlier this season and he’s been running very well.
This is a qualifier for Cheltenham for the Pertemps Hurdle. He’s a really likeable type and I think a lot of him.
He’s improving all the time, and still has plenty of potential. The handicapper keeps having his say but he still could have more improvement in him.
4.05 – Jumpsuit
Other than his breeding I have very little to go on with him. I’m hoping Ian will tell me he’s been working well at home.
That said with bumpers, it’s amazing how often I’ve ridden horses that have shown nothing at home and they’ve gone and won a bumper, or that have been catching pigeons at home and then disappointed in their bumper.
You never really know what to expect until a horse is in the heat of battle.
I don’t have a specific approach to riding in bumpers, I just have a different way of doing my homework.
You have so little to go on in terms of form, so I look at the breeding, get information on how the horse works at home – does he seem fast or slow. This helps decide how to ride the race on each horse.
My best ride of the day is probably First Assignment but I have some very good rides, and hopefully on some Cheltenham Festival horses.