AFTER the Festival feast it’s back to the bread and butter today — although hopefully I can put a bit of jam on it.
I’ve got five rides at Kempton and, with a bit of luck, I might be smiling after at least one of them.
Certainly a bit more than I managed at Cheltenham, anyway.
I kick off on MANVERS HOUSE (1.00) in the novice hurdle, and I’d be looking for a decent spin on him.
It’s a competitive little race, for all there aren’t that many runners, but he should be winning any time soon and hopefully that time is now.
His form when second behind Chantry House, who finished third in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, would give him every chance, Kempton will suit his style of running, so let’s go!
Then it’s RETURN TICKET (1.30) in the handicap chase, another race that’s short on numbers but tricky to find the winner.
Hopefully that will be me, because he’s got bits and pieces of form that would definitely give him a chance. The ground won’t be horrendous so we’ll just see how we get on.
I have not ridden much for Ruth Jefferson so it would certainly be nice to get a winner for her.
I ride WAR LORD (2.05) for Colin Tizzard and as you’d expect for the 18-runner final of this EBF series, it’s a really competitive affair.
He won last time, although that was a novice hurdle at Taunton, and clearly this contest is going to be a lot tougher.
War Lord is up in trip today, likes to make the running and I’m looking forward to riding him. Hopefully he goes there with a chance.
If that one is tough, it’s certainly no easier when I’m on OUR POWER (2.40) in the next – there are 20 of us in this one!
He ran a nice race in a tough contest at this track last time, but I have to admit his handicap mark doesn’t leave us a lot to play with.
Hopefully he’ll have an each-way squeak, because he’s as honest as they come, very consistent and should run his race again.
Finally it’s TOPOFTHECOTSWOLDS (3.15) in the Silver Bowl handicap, and I have to be honest and say he’s up against it.
A right-handed track will suit him, but he’s plenty high enough in the weights and it would be a surprise if he won.
Sadly the writing was on the wall early on that my big hope of the week – Riders Onthe Storm – wasn’t going to make it a Ryanair to remember at Cheltenham.
He was never really comfortable, didn’t jump as well as we know he can and just couldn’t get himself into a rhythm.
But I’m happy to report that he is safe and sound despite our fall.
He will have a quiet couple of weeks and, touch wood, will be okay when we come up with another plan.