It’s good to be back at Cheltenham. It’s been some wait as the last time I rode here was when I won the Grand Annual a couple of years back aboard Chosen Mate (pictured below). Anyway, a fair amount of water has gone under the bridge since then. I’ll be flying over on Friday morning and will get to the track nice and early as I may have to have a bit of a sweat before racing. There looks set to be some lovely decent ground and I’m booked to ride four for Gordon…



MARS HARPER – 1.55pm 2m4f Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 2) (4yo+)

Gordon saddles two in the opener, Off Your Rocco and Mars Harper for the Pioneer Racing syndicate. Jack (Kennedy), who is actually suspended in Ireland at the moment but can ride here, has ridden both of these before and prefers Off Your Rocco. My fella won nicely at Downpatrick the last day and comes here with fitness on his side. Whether he is quite good enough for a race like this remains to be seen, but we will give it a go.

BUDDY RICH – 2.30pm 2m (1m7f199y) (Old) squareintheair.com Novices’ Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2) (4yo+)

It’s the turn of the novice chasers next where I partner Buddy Rich who also has a string of nice runs under his belt. He’s chased home three nice novices in Ireland on his last three starts including Bleu Berry, Dancing On My Own and Cape Gentleman. That experience will stand him in good stead here, I guess it’s just whether he has the class to beat the likes of Third Time Lucki and Fidelio Vallis.

CALAGOGO – 3.05pm 3m (2m7f208y) (Old) 888Sport What’s Your Thinking Novices’ Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 2) (4yo+)

Calagogo won three on the bounce over the summer and has had a bit of time off to freshen up for this. The trip and ground will be perfect for him and I’m hopeful he will give a good account of himself. He deserves a crack at a race like this and I guess we will see whether he is up to this sort of class.

TOP BANDIT – 5.25pm 2m½f (2m87y) (Old) Foundation Developments Maiden Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 3) (4yo+)

My final ride of the afternoon is Top Bandit in the maiden hurdle. He won his bumper last month and then made a pleasing start over hurdles at Limerick a few weeks ago. He is bound to come forward for that and will hopefully go well here. That said, the likes of John Locke catch the eye on the back of a wind op and Cardano is a nice recruit from the flat.

Good Luck