Richard Johnson: The more rain the better for Thomas Patrick
The champion jockey previews his rides for Newbury on Saturday and Carlisle on Sunday.
Saturday is one of the biggest days of the season, and one I’ve been looking forward to for a while.
There is plenty of rain forecast in the morning and it’s a case of the more the better for Thomas Patrick
Newbury on Saturday
I’ve got five rides at Newbury. First up is Kayf Adventure in the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Chase (13:20).
He ran consistently well last season and loves soft ground, so we’ll be hoping the rain comes. He’s a second-season novice and hopefully there’s more to come.
Who’s My Jockey (13:50) was a little bit disappointing on his last run here at Newbury over 3m. He’s definitely up to running well in a race of this type.
I was pleased with him at Stratford two starts back, so we hope he can bounce back to form in this.
Gumball (14:25) is one of my horses on Saturday that would prefer the rain to stay away as he prefers better ground.
On the best of his form from last season he would have a good chance and he’s been dropped 4lbs for his reappearance effort at Cheltenham in October.
He’s still on quite a high mark, though, and may need to come down a little bit more.
I schooled Thomas Patrick (15:00) on Wednesday and he feels really well. It definitely seems as if he’s come out of the Sandown race in good form. Tom Lacey is very happy with him.
The softer the ground the better, but it wasn’t that soft at Sandown last time and a reproduction of that run should leave him bang there. He stays very well which is always important in this race.
I suppose it’s slightly surprising there are only 13 runners, but I doubt Thomas Patrick would know if there’s 12 others or 22 as hopefully he’ll be very handy the whole way.
I want to get a good start and a smaller field than normal should help with that.
It was a great day when Native River won this two years ago and Thomas Patrick is another second season novice who have such a good record in the race.
You’re looking for a horse that’s unexposed and on the upgrade. He’s only six and hopefully he’s going the right way. I certainly wouldn’t swap him for anything else in the race.
My final ride of the day is Top Gamble in the 2m handicap chase (15:35) for Kerry Lee.
He’s been entered an awful lot over the past few weeks as they’ve been waiting for rain, which has gladly come.
He’s a graded horse and is coming back to handicap company. He won the Game Spirit here in 2016 and it will be nice to get back on him.
Kerry’s horses are in good form and he is another one who likes soft ground.
Carlisle on Sunday
I’m off to Carlisle on Sunday for three rides and hopefully they all have a reasonable chance.
Garrettstown (12:25) won a bumper last season and then ran a nice race at Newbury first time out this term.
That would have done him the world of good and he should be more streetwise for the run.
Olly Murphy likes him and I hope he goes there with a very strong chance.
Hidden Dilemma (12:55) won over course and distance a couple of weeks ago for Harry Skelton.
Carlisle is a stiff track, which suits some horses so it’s good that she’s shown she handles it.
My final ride of the weekend is Chicoria (15:00) who is a horse I know from a while ago when Henry Daly trained him.
He finished off last season with two good wins. He should be suited by the conditions and will hopefully run very well.
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