Harry Cobden: Wonderful Wednesday On The Cards

Blogs | 15th March 2022

After a thrilling day of action, Harry Cobden is back in the thick of it at Cheltenham Festival Ladies’ Day.

My Day Two Rides

1:30 Stage Star (Ballymore Novices Hurdle)

This looks an ultra-competitive race. He’s done nothing wrong all season, winning each of his three starts in really impressive fashion.

He’s not the sort of horse that’d knock your eye out on the gallops at home, but he clearly saves his best form the racecourse. If only all horses behaved like him my job would be a much easier one!

He’s tactically versatile and my attitude is that I’ll ride him like he’s the best horse in the race. The Irish horse, Sir Gerhard, is rightly the hot favourite but we have to believe that he’s beatable. 

If we can latch onto his tail and travel at a decent tempo then our horse should certainly make his presence felt at the finish.    

2:10 Bravemansgame (Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase)

This horse’s quality has been talked about at length on these blogs before, so I won’t go into detail about how much I rate him. But, in short, he’s the real deal.

My priority will be to get him into a nice, handy position and get him popping over his fences. He’s very straightforward and getting a clear sight of the obstacles is my main priority.

Ahoy Senor will set a decent pace and look to turn this into a stamina test; but I’ve confidence that Bravemansgame will be able to handle the heat.

As per the race at Kempton we won’t let them get too far away from us and then aim to challenge in the latter stages.

Venetia Williams’s horse L’Homme Presse is a big danger too, so I need to be mindful about what’s behind me as well as in front of me.

2:50 McFabulous (Coral Cup)

This horse has been something of an enigma to be honest. He’s always had bundles of ability but has struggled for consistency. Every time he’s run at Cheltenham he’s been a tad disappointing.

He seems very well at home though and on the face of it, 150 appears a very workable handicap mark.

Two miles and five furlongs should be his ideal distance – he patently didn’t see out the three mile stamina test in the Cleeve Hurdle.

I imagine they’ll set off at a furious pace in this, as they usually do in all big field handicaps at the Festival. I think I’ll be swerving any of the early skirmishes for the lead and look to bring McFabulous into the race nice and steadily. 

He’s definitely got the class to be involved at the finish.

3:30 Politologue (Champion Chase)

This looks like one of the most competitive Champion Chases we’ve seen in a long while and it should make for a cracking spectacle.

Politologue is 11 now and, funnily enough, he actually made his Cheltenham debut in 2016 which was the same year as me! It just shows you what a longstanding legend he’s been in British racing.

I’m just delighted I’ve got the ride on him and, even though he’s been a bit below his best this season, I’m hoping he can pick up a nice bit of prize money.

There’s bound to be a pretty hot pace in the race – Energumene will probably set off at lightspeed – so it might be wise for us to steer clear of a dual for the lead.

I’ll wait and see what Paul says re tactics. Whatever happens he’s been a real hero for the yard and I just hope he can enjoy himself.

4:50 Il Ridoto (Grand Annual)

He looks amazing at home; I schooled him earlier in the week and he went really nicely. He looked a really big talent in his win at Newbury in November – so much so that we pitched him into Grade 1 company just 11 days later.

That proved to be too much too soon and we then gave him a bit of a break. His most recent run at Lingfield was better than it appeared on face value; he ran well for a long way before fading to third after the last fence.

It was well documented at the time that Paul’s yard was underperforming due to an issue with the horses’ feed.  Hopefully with that rectified he should be finishing his race more strongly.

He’s only five, so  we feel there’s certainly more to come – whether we’ve got enough improvement in hand to be competitive here is another question!

Politologue Harry Cobden
Politologue and Harry Cobden