Our Racing Blog
Wincanton Racecourse are delighted to bring you a regular blog by local National Hunt Jockeys Joe Tizzard and Daryl Jacob - check back regularly for updates.
Latest Blog Entry : Monday 10th February from Joe Tizzard
Sadly, Plumpton races was called off this morning following a precautionary inspection. David Yates from The Mirror has been critical of racecourses hosting early morning inspections when the chances of racing are slim. I meanwhile confess to be gutted as we had a few 1-6 chances in other words, easy races! But, with inspections forecast the whole week, we’ll make multiple entries all over the place but I’m sure it won’t cut up as easily as today, which is a shame.
With racing off, it’s been a horses, gallop maintenance and farming duties day. The gallop has weathered well from the deluge of rain and today we laid more wood chipping. We’ve experienced a few flooded fields but they’re no where near the horses or cows so we can’t complain. However, I believe the weather’s going to get worse before it gets better which is not ideal but I’m hoping the tide will turn in time for Cheltenham. We and others in the racing community will be looking for better ground at Cheltenham Festival. I for one, wouldn’t want current going conditions for Cue Card in the Gold Cup!
Many people talk about goings – heavy, soft, sloppy and gluey are common adjectives– but what do they mean / what conditions are they describing? Well sloppy conditions is a bit like porridge with too much milk – a fine example of this was Cheltenham on New Year’s Day where the horses travelled through the water drenched conditions. And, gluey is like thick soup making it more difficult to travel through.
As mentioned, we have made a bunch of entries this week. Tuesday’s card at Lingfield has already been called off, leaving just Ayr tomorrow. Hopefully Chepstow will survive the weather but I really don’t know when we’ll be racing next – we have to see how the weather holds....
Last week, we had a number of great results - the horses are really, really well and about to fly! Third Act won a nice bumper at Kempton last Friday and will improve for the run. We plan to target the Cheltenham Festival bumper – we’re not saying Third Act is Cue Card but we believe he’s good enough to take the chance.
Meanwhile, Cue Card looks superb. We’ll schedule a racecourse gallop somewhere within the fortnight. Nicky Henderson is considering cantering a few at Kempton Park on the all weather because of current conditions and I think we’ll follow suit. It will be nice to give Cue Card a day out like this – load into the lorry, experience the buzz of travelling – it really will put him spot on for Cheltenham Festival.
Golden Chieftain may have a spin over hurdles or a racecourse gallop ahead of Cheltenham. While Theatre Guide, who pulled a ham string before Cheltenham’s Trial meeting in January. He’s back to form with multiple Festival entries which will decide on nearer the time.
Before I sign out, there are two things that I would like to acknowledge. Firstly, to the ground team across the country who have done a sterling job in testing conditions to stage racing. Yes we may by-pass the odd obstacle but we jockeys would much rather race on soft ground than firm - horses experience less injuries and it doesn’t hurt so much if we fall! Also, I would like to congratulate Team Tizzard on reaching £500,000 prize money. We’re on route to our £800,000 record last season and await our purple patch – where the horses fly – which will hopefully coincide with Cheltenham and Aintree.
Last Blog Entry from Daryl Jacob : Thursday 23rd January
I haven’t been home since Monday! Tuesday I stayed in Lambourn with my good friend Noel Fehily - together we went to Leicester. Then it was back to Lambourn for the night and a long drive to Catterick today for the one ride. Jason Maguire and Donald McCain had a cracking day with a treble. And now, I’m making my way to Fakenham! Thankfully I enjoy listening to Capital Radio and have the new Ellie Goulding CD to break in. I’ve worked it out, that over a seven-day period, I will drive some 1,569 miles which if travel expenses were part of our job at 0.45p per mile would equate to £706.05! So I better ride a few winners.
Tomorrow at Fakenham I have three rides for independent trainers and all three have a good chance so I’m hopeful. Moss on The Mill runs in the opening race the Hoe Novices Hurdle – eight run. We’re got a couple of runs under the belt and I’m confident that we should go close..
I’ve not ridden Make Me A Fortune before, but I confess to loving the name! The horse was second last time out and I’ll be looking to go one better.
I ride for Brian Ellison in the 2:30 Wendling Handicap Chase on Presented. This horse has cracking form and will enjoy the conditions, so I’ve got a good day to look forward too.
Friday I head back north to Doncaster and then will make my way to Cheltenham where once again I have a large number of solid rides for Paul Nicholls. In the opening race I ride Vicenzo Mio in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial. The horse will enjoy the heavy ground and won last time out at Kempton. He’s highly rated and I’m confident that we have a good chance.
Dark Lover runs in the two-mile five-furlong Timeform Novices Chase and is in flying form. The step up in trip will suit him.
Rocky Creek ran a blinder to finish second in the Hennessy Gold Cup last year (late November) and runs in the Argento Chase. We’re one of the highest rated horses but again he’s in good form and will like the ground. I really like this horse and consider him a National type – he goes on any ground, enjoys left handed tracks, is a powerful sort that stays and a super jumper. This eight-year old has got some cracking races in him which I look forward to riding.
Lac Fontana’s last three outing have been at Cheltenham, he’s only five and I’m hoping that we’re ahead in the handicap. He finished fourth last time out and a better run is on the cards.
After racing on Saturday, I’ll head home to catch up with Kelly and Harry, then it’s back to work on Sunday.
Wincanton next races on Thursday, January 30th.