It’s the final day of the Festival and I have four live chances in competitive races and big fields.
Perhaps my best chance is in the Albert Bartlett, a race I’ve been lucky enough to have won before with Kilbricken Storm back in 2018 – my first Festival winner. Hopefully I can have some luck in that race and win it again.
Here’s my thoughts on my four rides on Friday as well as my thoughts on the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
1:55pm: Thyme White in the Grade 3 McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle
Simply, I think he’ll run well. I’ll ride him like he’s the best horse in the race, meaning we’ll sit behind most of the field and try and move through in the latter stages and pick off our rivals one by one.
I thought he ran well in the Betfair Hurdle last time out. I can easily see him running into the places.
2:30pm: Barbados Buck’s in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle
Barbardos Buck’s is a strong contender, he’s probably my best chance of a winner on Friday. He’s been working excellently at home. He’s the sort of horse that you want for the Albert Bartlett because he conserves his energy throughout the race and then shows great staying power in the final furlongs. He’s coming into this off the back of three wins, so he knows how to get his head in front at the right time.
3:40pm: Chameron in the St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase
Chameron has had one run and one win this season at Leicester, the form in that race looks good with the second placed horse winning by 12 lengths at Catterick next time out. His race fitness would have improved from that Leicester run. It’s great to be able to ride for trainer Sam Loxton.
4:15pm: Cut The Mustard in the Grade 2 Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase
She’s in good form, but it’s a very competitive race and the Irish look to have a strong hand. Cut The Mustard is very genuine, tries her best and you could honestly say she’s mustard in that sense. She’s got an outside chance of finishing in the placings.
There are plenty of horses in with a shout this year. There’s no outstanding favourite despite Al Boum Photo going for a remarkable third win.
If Frodon gets into a good rhythm and he’s left alone at the front of the field I could see him running a huge race. But that will be a tough challenge as plenty of horses in there that like to set a fast pace and lead.
The start will be absolutely crucial and don’t be surprised if you see some jostling for position as they come towards the tape. Whoever wins that tussle will be in the prime slot and that can make all the difference at the business end of the race.
Frodon is absolutely not going to shirk the challenge though. He’s won a King George, a Ryanair a multiple handicaps off massive weights at Cheltenham; so he’s a class act.
We know he’s got another big performance in him and just hope Friday is another great chapter in his remarkable story. It would be great for racing if he and Bryony did win.