Coral ambassador also previews Ladbrokes Trophy ride
It was great to have Thistlecrack back last weekend at Haydock. I thought he ran a tremendous race which puts him back on track for the King George where he is sure to have a great chance.
His jumping was a little slow at one or two of them but the fences at the track were very stiff. He will just need to sharpen his jumping up at Kempton and there is no reason why he won’t. It’s the best feel he has given me since he won the King George two years ago.
Saturday – Newbury
12.45 – Mr Big Shot
This is a competitive novice chase but he will definitely have a big chance. He hasn’t appeared on the track as often as we would have liked. His schooling has been good at home though and Newbury is a great place for him to start over fences.
1.20 – Valhalla
He’s a solid horse but this is a competitive race for him. He ran well on his opening start of the season at Kempton and I am sure he will run his race here and hopefully that will be enough to see him go close.
1.50 – Air Horse One
He is dropping back down in class after running in the Elite Hurdle last time at Wincanton. I have had a couple of rides for Harry Fry who is a trainer who is successful and going places. It’s a nice spare ride to pick up on the card.
3.00 – Sizing Tennessee
I think he will have a good chance here. If you fancy Ms Parfois then you’d have to consider Sizing Tennessee as he was third behind him and Rathvinden at Cheltenham.
We were bang there jumping the second last where the trip probably just found him out. It is a smaller field than it normally is for this race. I always think this is the Gold Cup of handicap chases.
It rides like a Gold Cup as it is fast and frantic from the start. I won the race with Madison du Berlais in 2008. It looked at the time like the handicapper had found his level but he suddenly sprouted wings in the race.
I remember jumping the last ditch and thinking, we are travelling well here. It is such a long run in and things can change so much there. It’s a great race and I am excited to be part of it again.
3.35 Newbury – Baby King
He is a solid handicapper and Tom George’s horses are running well so I expect he will be in with a chance here. It will be the first time I am riding the horse so I will be hoping for a bit of luck.
Sunday – Leicester
1.15 – Show Of Force
He was rated 70 on the flat and making his hurdles debut here so hopefully he can make a winning start over obstacles.
2.20 – The Twisler
He has been running very well recently but a mistake at the last at Cheltenham cost him from finishing much closer on his previous start. He is one to keep an eye on this season.