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 : Friday 12th September from Daryl Jacob
It’s been a busy few weeks back in the saddle and I’m delighted to report that all my rides, since returning, have been placed within the first three, plus a nice double at Market Rasen a week Saturday. We now enter a seven-day rest period within the summer jump racing calendar but I remain busy and will continue to ride out most days.
This morning I rode out for Ben Case in Banbury. He’s 40 plus stocked yard has a number of real contenders this season, so it’s exciting times ahead.
I’m now on-route to Charlie Mann’s to cross-country school a horse that I may have the chance to ride in the Czech Pardubice. The infamous cross-country chase is has been run in Pardubice, Czech Republic since 1874 and takes place every year on the second Sunday in October (12/10/14). The PARDUBICE is lovingly referred to as THE DEVIL'S RACE given it’s one of the most dangerous steeplechase on earth, against other horses of enormous stamina and bravery, over some of the most treacherous obstacles ever built – 33 fences, four and a half miles at a hell for leather speed! Most jockeys only get to see their mount in the Parade Ring before racing. I thankfully, have the chance to school Charlie Mann’s contender and have the assurance that Charlie has ridden and won the challenging chase.
Last Sunday, Noel Fehily and I attended Paul Nicholls’ Open Day and had a great day catching up with team Ditcheat. Paul paraded nearly 100 horses and all looks splendid. This year’s team comprises of many youngster following a significant clearing of stock and once again, Paul will be supporting his local track with a stream of runners across the eight-month on-course season. I will continue to ride out for Paul every other week and very much hope to ride Calipto – the horse I finished fourth on in the Triumph Hurdle with a broken stirrup! Bucks Bond is a Wincanton regular and Paul confirmed that the October 26th meeting will be the target for this progressive grey gelding.
Benvolio co-owned by Tessa Woodhouse, Rosanne Dobson and Caroline Sutton is very much targeting the Badger Ales Trophy (November 8) whereas Southfield Theatre, owned by Mrs Angela Yeoman, is to target Wincanton’s Rising Stars Novices Chase and is sure to be an exciting prospect. One horse that shone bright like a diamond was Emerging Talent, owned by Mr & Mrs Barber who will make his seasonal debut at Wincanton is a 2m4f novices hurdle but is a chaser for the future.
I was surprised to learn that 19-year-old harry Derham has decided to retire from race riding at such an early age. Harry is a bright lad with the world at his feet and three-years race riding under his belt and a Cheltenham Festival winner to boot! His changing room colleagues and I highly respect his decision. Through my time with Paul Nicholls, I have worked and ridden alongside Harry for his entire career and consider him a top class rider and a top class friend. It will be a shame to see him go, but we will always remain friends and I have seen firsthand, how relieved he is for having finally listened to his heart and hang up his boots. I wish him all the luck in the future and for the chance to enjoy the many paths that will come his way.
Last Blog Entry from Joe Tizzard : Monday 10th February
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.