Harry Cobden Blog: Elegant Escape ready to roll in the Ladbrokes Trophy

Elegant Escape

First off, I’m absolutely delighted with Cyrname, that was some race in the Christy Chase last Saturday. He performed brilliantly, he jumped and travelled really well. The race went pretty much exactly as planned with a strong front running pace and then showing too much power for Altior in the home straight. He looks the worthy favourite for the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.

It’s going to be a tough decision between Cyrname and Clan Des Obeaux in the King George VI. I’ll make the decision at a later date and I’ll ride the fittest and healthiest one, and the one most likely to perform.

The Ladbrokes Trophy

Now, looking forward to this weekend. I’ll be riding Elegant Escape in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury. I schooled him on Wednesday and he was in good form.

He finished second in last year’s Ladbrokes Trophy so he hasn’t got much more to find. He’s wearing blinkers to sharpen him up and help him travel through the race better. Hopefully the changes can make the difference and he can go one better.

If he’s within striking distance at the business end of the race, he’s not going to stop! Elegant Escape may have top weight but he’s a class horse and I’m looking forward to riding him. He’s only seven so there’s plenty of room to progress into an even better horse.

The Ladbrokes Trophy is a race I really look forward to going into the season. One of the best Ladbrokes Trophy’s I’ve ever seen was Denman winning 10 years ago, it was one of those races that stick in your mind because it was just an unbelievable performance. I must have only been 11 at the time, but it’s one of those days that you never forget.

My rides in the other races on Saturday

I have a full book of rides tomorrow at Newbury. I’m riding a lot of top horses with strong chances of taking home the goods.

Silver Forever – Ladbrokes “Where The Nation Plays” Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle – 12:05

She won over course and distance last time and sits second favourite behind the Nicky Henderson horse, Floressa. However, Silver Forever has come out of her last race in fine condition and I’m really optimistic going into the race.

Danny Whizzbang – Ladbrokes John Francome Novices’ Chase – 12:40

It’s a very competitive race between the three runners. It’s Danny Whizzbang’s comeback run of the season and a really good starting point for him to use as a springboard for the rest of the season.

Sametegal – Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase – 1:15

Sametegal’s coming back into the fold after a long layoff, he unfortunately suffered an injury last year. He’s a lovely old horse and a gentleman to ride. I’ll be really pleased for the old boy if he triumphs tomorrow.

Dan McGrue – Get Your Ladbrokes £1 Free Bet Today Handicap Hurdle – 1:50

Dan McGrue goes into the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle as one of the favourites and rightly so. He won well in the face of fierce competition last time out at Plumpton. The handicapper has got him up a few pounds for it, but he looks to me like he’s an improving horse. Let’s hope he can do the business in a competitive handicap once again!

Christopher Wood – Ladbrokes “Where The Nation Plays” Intermediate Hurdle – 2:25

A former winner at Newbury, Christopher Wood runs in the Ladbrokes Intermediate Hurdle. He ran a decent race in the Grade 2 Elite Hurdle at Wincanton against top-class rivals. He’s off a very workable mark and stepping back in class will mean he’s a proper contender for this race. I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t run well.

Magic Saint – Ladbrokes Handicap Chase – 3:40

I’m on the favourite Magic Saint, we were delighted with him on his season return round Cheltenham a few weeks ago. He jumped and travelled well, and he’s certainly improved from last year which bodes well for tomorrow’s race.

What my typical day looks like

It’s an exciting time of year for a Jump jockey, I’ll be racing most days and there’s big Graded races to look forward to most weeks. Here’s what I get up to in a typical day during this busy time of year…

  • 06:00 to 11:00 – Wake up, exercise the horses at Paul Nicholls or possibly Colin Tizzard’s yard
  • 11:00 to 13:00 – Get driven to the racecourse, analyse the horses I’ll be riding
  • 13:00 to 16:00 – At the racecourse, riding in races roughly every 30 minutes
  • 16:00 to 18:00 – Travel home thinking about how the day’s racing went
  • 18:00 to 21:00 – Home, light dinner and rest up

As a jockey it’s important to keep a balance between having enough food to fuel myself for the day’s racing ahead and keep an eye on the weight side of things. I normally eat before I go racing to give me that burst of energy and have a dinner when I get home. I’m always looking to eat healthy, nothing like McDonalds on the way to the races!

In terms of preparing for a raceday, I’d research the form, watch race replays of my horses’ previous runs especially if I haven’t ridden them before to see what sort of tactics I’m going to use then clarify it with the trainer later on. But I like to keep it fairly relaxed before racing when I’m on course, I normally have a sleep to be fair!

My favourite part of my day is experiencing that winning feeling. Another part is going into yards and schooling exciting young horses but most of all it’s about winning.

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