Scu says “Grace Tara has a cracking chance at Bangor”
It’s easy to forget how draining Cheltenham is every year, and it was very frustrating not to have a winner. I’ve been spoiled over the last few years that I’ve ridden plenty of winners at the Festival, and it was the first year for a long while that I’ve drawn a blank there. For want of a better word, it hurts, and it makes me want it not to be the case next year.
A few of the horses ran very well. Kings Socks competed well for a long way, Taj Badalandabad ran well above himself, and Indian Stream ran well above herself, but none of them threatened to win. But then I went to Uttoxeter on Saturday and rode a double for my brother which was great. Cadeyrn is a lovely horse that is going from strength to strength. I think that may be it for the season now but he’ll step up into a lovely chaser next season. It was a good performance and bodes well for next year. Smiths Cross ran in quite atrocious conditions in the last and he handled it the best. They are two nice horses to be going on with. The owners have been very good supporters of Michael, and they also own Mystere, who was Michael’s flagship horse last season.
I’m getting up early to drive up to Bangor, as I don’t have to ride out tomorrow. I have a reasonably light weight to do at 10 stone 3lbs which isn’t much of a problem, but I want to leave myself a little time when I get there just in case I need to lose a quick pound.
2.15 Bangor – Grace Tara
Grace Tara will have a cracking chance in this race. At Hereford she bumped into a decent one and was beaten a long way. But she ran well and she’s running off a decent mark. Michael’s horses are in good form and have been so consistent.
4.00 Bangor – Brigadier Bob
This is a nice ride to pick up. I used to ride a fair bit for Richard Lee but I think this is just about my first ride for Kerry. He’s got a bit to find on the book.
3.10 Ascot – Valhalla
Colin keeps finding these small runner fields for Valhalla. I think on his last two runs he’s beaten four horses. It was a good performance last time and I was really pleased with him. On the figures we do have a bit to find with Adrien Du Pont but I wouldn’t underestimate my horse. Colin’s horses are running so well you’ve got to give everything he runs a chance.
4.20 Ascot – Rathlin Rose
Rathlin Rose has been in great form and he must have a good chance in what is a decent Veteran’s Chase. I thought he ran really well at Sandown last time when the race wasn’t really run to suit. They didn’t go as quick in the race as they normally do. He’s been in such good form though with that second in the Grand Military having won the Royal Artillery. I also thought he ran an outstanding race in the Coral Welsh National. On the pick of his form he would have a great chance but these Veteran’s races are very competitive.
2018 Grand National
Vieux Lion Rouge does need to bounce back from the doldrums. He ran a bit better at Ascot. Last year we went there in good form and he had an outstanding chance and he didn’t quite stay. He’s still a reasonably young horse and whilst he has stamina doubts over the 4 miles, we are hoping with an extra year on his back he might now be able to stay. We are going in there under the radar this year.