It’s fantastic seeing the crowds back in big numbers at Cheltenham and indeed for the whole of the Jumps season.
The first day I really noticed that buzz and electricity was last Saturday at my local track Wincanton. It’s great to see Jump racing being well supported again.
Looking ahead to this Sunday at Cheltenham, there’s certainly a few stars out on show, so hopefully the crowd will have good reason to roar again!
2:20pm – Politologue in the Grade 2 Shloer Chase
I’m incredibly excited to get back on Politologue, he’s a thrill to ride. As a jockey a proper two mile chaser is the sort of horse you get a unique buzz from. He’s been a brilliant performer for the yard and myself personally. He gave me my second ever Grade 1 win when I was a teenager.
Paul Nicholls has had Politologue doing loads of work at home so he’s feels race fit and raring to go. He’s an amazing horse to be associated with.
I schooled him earlier in the week. He’s still got plenty of enthusiasm and love for the game whether it’s galloping or jumping. I’ve never seen him look so well.
I've never seen him look so well.
Although it’s only a four runner race, The Shloer Chase is certainly not lacking in star quality.
The Champion Chase winner Put The Kettle On makes her reappearance, Nube Negra who beat Altior in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton last season. And Rouge Vif certainly isn’t there to just make up the numbers; he was running a big race in the Champion Chase last time but didn’t have much luck in running.
I’d say we’ll keep it fairly simple with Politologue. He’s shown in the past that he runs well from the front and we won’t be complicating things too much.
He’s just a smidgen off £1 million in career prize money (£990,000), hitting the big landmark will show what an amazing career he’s had.
The thing that I absolutely love about him is that he gives his absolute best every time. That character partnered with his ability is why he’s won so many top-class races.
3:30pm – Sonigino: Grade 2 Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle
Sonigino is a new recruit from France, he’s a very exciting horse. He works very well at home and he’s a nice, big horse with lots of potential. He’s looked quite clever over the obstacles at home, so hopefully that translates on Sunday.
He’s been put in a high-class Novice Hurdle race but we believe he’s that class. I like this one a lot.
4:00pm – Timeforatune in the Listed High Sheriff Of Gloucestershire Open National Hunt Flat Race
His fitness will have improved since his last run at Chepstow. I did some work on the gallops with him on Thursday morning and he was flying through his work.