At Sandown on Saturday, Paul Nicholls became the British Champion Trainer for the tenth time and in the first, I rode VOIX DU REVE who didn’t go enough of a gallop and wouldn’t settle for the first half of the race which took the speed out of him, but he ran very well.
Punchestown is a great race meeting with excellent races, where every Jockey and Trainer would love to have a winner during the week. The festival has lots of competitive handicap hurdles, which gives the ‘smaller’ trainers a greater chance of picking up a win throughout the week.
I ride BRAIN POWER for Nicky Henderson in the Champion Novice Hurdle at 4.20, who looks very good in his races. I have never sat on the horse, but he seems to travel and jump well. It’s going to be very hard to beat YORKHILL though if he shows up in the same form as he did at Cheltenham and Aintree.
In the Handicap Hurdle at 4.55, I’ll be on ANCIENT SANDS, trained by John Kiely who is a very shrewd man and knows how to get his horses ready for particular races. ANCIENT SANDS ran well on the flat, but you need a lot of luck in the Handicap Hurdles at Punchestown, so hopefully he can get a clear run round.
After winning the Grand National at Aintree a few weeks ago, I’m back on RULE THE WORLD, where the 3m 1f should be ideal for him and he should have a nice run. Mouse Morris thinks he came on from the run at Aintree and it would be great to top off his season, as well as mine, with a Grade 1 win.
I would love to get a winner today to start the week off well and it would mean I might get a good few spare rides towards the end of the week.