Scu says “King’s Socks is my best chance of the week”
JLT Novices Chase – West Approach
West Approach will have the blinkers on to sharpen him up. I’m quite pleased it’s a small field. Just the ten runners. We know he has plenty of ability but he’s only shown in in glimpses, whether over hurdles or fences. The last time I rode him around Sandown I felt that blinkers would help him. He’s 40/1 for a reason but there are bits of form that would give him a chance. I also don’t think this two and a half mile division is that strong. Of course I respect the likes of Invitation Only, but there are pieces of West Approach’s form that give him a squeak. Maybe I’m tilting at windmills.
The race revolves around Finian’s Oscar. I schooled him at home without the cheekpieces on, and I think they will really help him. We know the ability is there, he can jump, he can do it, he just needs to believe in himself and he can win this race. That said he comes with risks attached.
Pertemps Hurdle – Taj Badalandabad
He beat The Mighty Don at Huntingdon and that form has worked out very well with the runner-up running well since. He is an in-and-out performer but I think i’ve won on him five times out of the seven times I’ve ridden him so he’s pretty consistent for me.
If the ground was on the good side I’d fancy him but the ground has gone against him. That said he’s surprised me before and perhaps he can surprise me again.
Brown Advisory Chase – Kings Socks
King’s Socks is probably my best ride of the week. He comes with some risks attached as we’ve only seen him the once running in the UK when he was third at Kempton last time. However his form with Footpad looks pretty good now and he has form with some of the top horses in France. He has shown us all the right signs at home. He has the class, the ground here at Cheltenham is as close to that French Autueil ground that I’ve ridden on in Britain, so that will be perfect for him too.
Clearly the plan was to be running him last year but he had a leg injury and has been off the track. However he is only a six year old, so has youth on his side, and at home he feels like a class horse. He has to now go and do it on the track and I see no reason why he can’t. He is my best chance this week.