media

It’s great to be back doing my blog for Betway, with the season really kicking into gear at Chepstow this weekend.

Thankfully they’ve had some rain and they’ve put on some decent prize money, so there are going to be plenty of runners with trainers looking to get their horses out.

Back in front in the title race

I was obviously pleased to get in front in the jockeys’ title race. We had a good start to the season, but Dan and Harry Skelton had a phenomenal first few months.

When I was 20 or so behind Harry I started to worry that he might get away from me, but it’s a long season and there’s still nearly seven months to go.

Of course it’s nicer to be in front than behind and over the last couple of months we’ve had some fantastic days, especially at Perth with Gordon Elliott, where we had a five-timer in August.

Philip Hobbs' horses seem in much better health this season and he had a great treble at Worcester on Thursday. He’s going to be busy when we get the ground.

Harry was the one I had to catch and he’s going to have a lot more winners, but there’s also Brian Hughes who is having a very good season.

He’s linked up with Donald McCain and the northern circuit will be stepping up a notch now so he’s certain to have a busy winter.

I’m not taking anything for granted, there’s an awful lot more racing to look forward to and we need the winners to keep coming.

As I’ve always said, the title is the main objective for me. It was always something I wanted to achieve.

It’s obviously fantastic to have horses like Native River and to win the big races, but the title is always the main target and what gives me the most pleasure.

Chepstow on Saturday

There’s plenty of rain forecast at Chepstow, which is a relief considering the past few months, but I don’t think it will be too testing as we’re racing on fresh ground.

It’s not like the courses that have been racing all summer, which are chewed up.

I kick off Saturday’s card with Umndeni  for Philip in the first division of the juvenile hurdle (13:55).

He won a bumper at Warwick in the spring on his only start so far and is a really nice athletic type. You’d hope he’s got the right kind of profile for a race like this - he’s a likeable sort.

I’m on Lord Duveen in the second division (14:30). He ran well on both his starts last season.

It might be a blessing in disguise that he didn’t win a novice hurdle, as it means that he retains his novice status for this year, but he's still got plenty of experience.

It was a good run at Kempton, when he was second in March.

We’ve always liked him at home and I schooled him on Friday. I was pleased, he felt very well.

With Philip’s horses in such good form, hopefully he goes there with a decent chance.

I’m also hopeful Festival Dawn can go well in the mares’ novices’ hurdle (15:05), although with 16 runners it’s not going to be easy.

She ran over hurdles just the once last season, when she was a good second in a novice hurdle at Taunton.

That was a decent performance and let’s hope she can put the experience to good use. On that form alone she should run well.

The Silver Trophy (16:45) is the big race of the day, and I’ve decided to ride Sneaky Feeling .

It was a tough decision to between him and Louis’ Vac Pouch, but I think he might be open to a bit more improvement.

Louis’ Vac Pouch got a big hike in the weights for winning at Aintree last year, while Sneaky Feeling is certainly less exposed.

Nothing went right for him last year, but he’s in good order at home. He’s definitely a decent horse and I hope there’s plenty more to come.

Rock The Kasbah takes his chance in the handicap chase (5.20pm), and hopefully he can continue his fine record at Chepstow.

He’s unbeaten in three starts over fences at the track and has won there on his reappearance for the past two seasons, including this race 12 months ago.

He wouldn’t want the ground too heavy, but I’ll be amazed if it’s really testing. It’s a very competitive race, but he runs well fresh and should be there or thereabouts.

I’m disappointed not to be able to ride Thomas Patrick, who also lines up. We had a great day at Aintree in April.

He’s a massive horse. I went to Tom Lacey’s to ride him out a couple of weeks ago. The softer the ground the better for him and he’ll definitely be at his best when the mud is flying.

All five of mine look to have reasonable chances, but it’s not going to be easy. If I had to pick out one, I’d go with Sneaky Feeling.

He’ll hopefully be a fair price and should have a good each-way chance.

16:45 Chepstow: Sneaky Feeling to win
{{::outcome.FormattedDecimal}} {{::outcome.Numerator}}/{{::outcome.Denominator}} SP

Chepstow on Sunday

I’ve got another five rides at Chepstow on Sunday.

First up is Drinks Interval for Colin Tizzard in the novices’ chase (14:50).

I won on her at Uttoxeter the other day, where she jumped really well. She has experience, which should help, but this looks another decent race.

Gosheven goes for the Persian War Novices’ Hurdle (15:25), and he’s a really nice horse. He ran well at Cheltenham in April to finish fifth.

This isn’t an easy race, but Philip felt it was worth him taking his chance. He was a baby last year, but has grown up.

I’m A Game Changer showed some good form last season and I hope he has a good chance in the two mile handicap hurdle (16:35). A stiff track like this will suit him, and there’s no reason to suggest he won’t keep on improving.

He’s a talented horse and the big field will help him. He’s probably my best chance of a winner on Sunday.

Garde La Victoire (17:10) has been a fantastic horse for the yard. He is one of the stars and rarely runs a bad race.

He didn’t have many starts last term, but I schooled him on Friday and he felt in great form.

He’s another who goes well fresh, although ideally we’d prefer less rain for him.

My last ride of the weekend is Precious Bounty in the bumper (17:40). I don’t know much about him, but he’s had a couple of runs in point-to-points and does everything nicely at home. Hopefully he’ll run well.

Visit Betway's horse racing betting page.