MY TRIO ON GREATWOOD DAY AT NEWBURY
It’s a quiet enough weekend for me on the racing front and while it’s hard not to be counting down the days to the Cheltenham Festival, hopefully I can get a winner in the bag at Newbury tomorrow.
The big race of the day at Newbury is the William Hill Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase (2.40) and I ride MASTER DEE for Fergal O’Brien.
I’ve only ridden him once before and won a valuable handicap chase at Kempton on him last year, so hopefully I can maintain my unbeaten record on him! I really liked him that day and he won in great style.
Things obviously haven’t been straightforward for him since then as he was pulled up in his only subsequent start last October and has since has a breathing operation. If Fergal can get him back to the form he was in at Kempton last year, he’d have to have a chance, but this is a competitive race and it won’t be easy for him.
Later on the card I ride the Philip Hobbs-trained DOSTAL PHIL in the Awdry Bailey & Douglas Supporting Greatwood Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (3.45).
He made a good comeback from an absence when second in a novice hurdle at Uttoxeter in October, but he was disappointing on his handicap debut at Cheltenham in November.
I wouldn’t like to say it was his inexperience that was the problem, he just struggled. He hasn’t run since, so this is a bit of a recovery mission for him. This looks a little bit less competitive than the race at Cheltenham, but he’ll need a big bounce back to get competitive.
My final ride on the card is in the concluding ITM Supporting Greatwood Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (3.50) on the Nicky Henderson-trained CHANTRY HOUSE.
He won a point-to-point at Tattersalls Farm, beating a nice horse of Liz Doyle’s that was second in a maiden hurdle at Naas a few weeks ago. I rode him work a few weeks ago and he’s a nice type. Nicky speaks highly of him and I’m looking forward to riding him.