Lockdown is over, fans are back at racecourses, the COVID vaccine has been given the go ahead – 2020 is looking up at last!
It was a fantastic sight to see racegoers back across all racecourses over the last two days but especially at Ludlow and Wincanton which is where I’ve been racing. So good seeing spectators enjoying themselves and creating an atmosphere.
It’ll be brilliant to have racegoers back on a big Saturday raceday featuring the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.
I’ve got an exciting book of rides including Greaneteen in the big one.
2:25, Grade 1 Betfair Tingle Creek
He’s worked excellently at home, I schooled him in the week and he seems in good touch. Greaneteen has quite a lot of ground to make up in terms of official ratings in the Tingle Creek but he’s a young horse and he hasn’t hit his ceiling yet.
He has a lot going for him, I think Sandown will suit him nicely, he’s a slick jumper, travels fluently and he’s got plenty of stamina. I’ll probably be quite positive on him and utilise his staying power in the race.
I’m coming up against Politologue, a horse I won the Tingle Creek on in 2017. Politologue has loads of experience and he knows what it takes to win a race like that, so I’ll keep tabs on him.
Can’t forget about the favourite and modern-day great that is Altior. Altior will be hard to beat there is no doubt, his record proves that after going on a world-record run for most consecutive wins by a Jumps horse. Nicky has said that he’s got him a lot fitter this year and Nico says he’s been schooling very well so we’ll have to bring our A-game on Saturday.
I don’t think any horse is unbeatable, we’ve proven that with Cyrname when he beat Altior last season, it’s going to be a tough challenge but I’m ready to try and beat him again.
The Worthy Brat – 12:05, Betfair Free Bet On The 1.50 Introductory Juvenile Hurdle
He’s new to me but he’s one I’m very much looking forward to and I’m sure he’ll build on his previous two performances coming first and third. He’s got one win under his belt as a three-year-old, hopefully he’ll add to it on Saturday.
Hitman – 1:50, Grade 1 Planteur At Chapel Stud Henry VIII Novices’ Chase
The four-year-old Novice chaser has impressed me, he won incredibly well at Ffos Las by a massive 30 lengths. He could be the one novice in the Nicholls yard that goes right to the top. He’s a big horse both in size and in talent. To ride he’s a very straight forward horse and touch wood he takes to the fences well at Sandown. I can’t wait to line up with him in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase.
Sir Alex Ferguson part-owns Hitman. The Man Utd man is obviously a legend in the sporting world. He loves his racing and he’s very competitive, that appetite to win certainly hasn’t gone away! The whole team that own Hitman are a great bunch and lovely owners to have.
Shanroe Santoes – 3:00, Betfair Exchange Back And Lay London National Handicap Chase
It’ll be my first ride on Shanroe Santoes. The handicapper has put him down in the weights, so he’ll have more of a chance compared to his recent outings. Hopefully, we can get into a good rhythm and we’ll see how the race pans out.
Solo – 3:35, Betfair Exchange December Handicap Hurdle
In the last race at Sandown, I’m riding Solo who has top weight. If he’s the same horse on Saturday that I thought he was last year, he’ll be a Graded horse in a handicap. I think he’ll improve from his last run massively and you’ll see a different horse on Saturday.