Richard Johnson: I'm going to Ffos Las for Ozzie The Oscar
The champion jockey is interrupting a quiet weekend to ride in the Welsh Champion Hurdle, which looks a "perfect starting point" for Philip Hobbs' horse.
It’s a much quieter weekend for me with only a handful of rides on both Saturday and Sunday.
That’s good news every once in a while, as it means I get to spend some precious time with the kids on Saturday morning.
One of the perks of living on a farm is that it’s so busy, so after breakfast I will be in their hands either riding ponies or quadbikes.
I’ll then sneak off to Ffos Las which is only a couple of hours away from us.
It’s a short journey and I often drive myself there and go the scenic cross-country route without a motorway in sight.
Ffos Las on Saturday
The main reason I am heading to Ffos Las is to ride Ozzie The Oscar for Philip Hobbs in the Welsh Champion Hurdle (4.25pm).
He’s a horse that has really improved and surprised us a little at how well he did over fences, winning his last couple of races at Warwick in good style.
This looks the perfect starting point for him this season as he is obviously now better treated over hurdles than fences when it comes to marks.
The fact The New One has stood his ground off topweight means he has a nice racing weight and hopefully he can go well.
My only other ride is Ninth Wave who makes his debut for Philip in the bumper (5.30pm) that ends the card.
He was supposed to start off at Newton Abbot last week but was a non-runner because of the bad ground. The conditions should be fine for him here, though.
Philip likes him and he won a point-to-point bumper last April before joining our yard.
I’m hopeful he can make a nice debut for us, but you never really know what you are up against as plenty of big yards are introducing newcomers here.
Kempton on Sunday
I’ve got three rides at Kempton on Sunday, starting with the newcomer Yamuna River for Chris Gordon in the juvenile hurdle (2.00pm).
She will be fit from the Flat where she ran several nice races despite still being a maiden after ten outings.
Most recently she was a good third in decent ground at Bath a couple of weeks ago, so she comes here fit and in good form.
Whether she is good enough to beat the likes of Quel Destin remains to be seen, but we will give it a go.
Chris has his horses in good form and it’s always good fun riding for him.
Next up, and my main reason for heading to Kempton, is Leapaway for Philip in the Listed novices’ hurdle (3.05pm).
He has been in brilliant form having won his last five and deserves to take his chance in a race like this.
This is a much bigger ask than the last three races he has won, but his win at Cartmel in July was a good one in a competitive field.
We have just the three rivals here, but all three won last time out and it’s hard to rule any of them out.
Finally, my last ride of the day is Baron Du Plessis for Ian Williams in the handicap chase (4.45pm).
I’ve ridden him three times before and finished second a couple of times and third on the other occasion, so it’s time we got our head in front!
He’s pretty consistent and deserves to win a race like this having failed to score in 16 attempts under rules.
Ian has his team in really good form so I am looking forward to a bold showing.
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