The week is flying by and now my sights are set on day three of the Cheltenham Festival. I have three rides to look forward to, including one in the feature race of the day, the Ryanair Chase, aboard Real Steel.
I’ve also got a strong opinion about who’ll win the Stayers’ Hurdle. Without further ado let’s get into it!
1:55pm: Southfield Harvest in the Grade 3 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle
Southfield Harvest ran very well last time out in a big handicap at Newbury, finishing third. I think his fitness will have definitely improved from that run, though to feature in this race it’ll have needed to. He’s a big horse that can be hard to get fit at home, so with that under his belt he’ll a have a much better chance.
2:30pm: Real Steel in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase
He’s in great form at home, he’s improved since his run in the King George on Boxing Day. It’s an ultra-competitive race with plenty of top-notch Irish horses. If he reproduces the level of his Cheltenham Gold Cup form from last year where he finished sixth and only seven lengths behind Al Boum Photo, he’d have to be right in the mix.
4:50pm: Shantou Flyer in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase
I’m really looking forward to Shantou Flyer, he looks a strong shout for the Kim Muir. He’s been working very well at home, I schooled him in the week where he was practically jumping out of my hands he was so well.
I may not have a ride this year, but my vote goes to Paisley Park all day long. I think he’s the best three mile hurdler in Jumps racing, no one better either side of the Irish Sea. If I could ride any horse in the race it would certainly be him. He’s straight forward to ride and when you ask for more, he gives you more so he’s a jockeys’ dream really.
The Stayers’ Hurdle is made for him, he seems to have got the dip in form he experienced last year. His trainer Emma Lavelle seems very happy with him that’s always a plus so all in all he looks very likely to regain his Stayers’ Hurdle crown.