It’s great to have racing back in full flow and credit should be given to the BHA for rescheduling some of the races and giving trainers and connections the chance to get another run in to their horses.

It’s less than a month until Cheltenham and there’s a real buzz forming around racing so this weekend’s action should be a nice warm up for that.

Ascot on Saturday

It’s a bumper day of action at Ascot on Saturday and I have eight rides to look forward to.

My first comes onboard Deise Aba  in the Novices’ Hurdle (12:30) for Philip Hobbs.

He ran really well when winning at Chepstow last time out and is a very likeable and genuine horse.

I was quite taken with him that day and think he should run well here and go on to bigger and better things.

We will definitely find more out about him and he will come on for the run.

I also ride Umndeni  in the Handicap Hurdle (13:00) for Philip in the second. He’s another who won last time out and should have more to offer.

He has taken a while to find his feet but won really nicely at Fontwell on his last start.

I schooled him on Thursday and he seems in good form and I would expect him to go well.

Now McGinty  runs in the Novices’ Chase (13:35). He has run consistently this season and was a six length winner at Chepstow last month.

It’s obviously a strong race despite it being a small field, but he keeps on improving and I know Stuart Edmunds will have him in fine fettle.

I’m riding Reikers Island for Philip in the Listed Handicap (14:10). He was a bit disappointing at Newbury last time out when finishing fourth.

He was much better and more fluent at Wincanton the time before and I think he will appreciate the return to a right-handed track and is still fairly weighted.


Thomas Patrick  has a bit to prove in the Denman Chase (14:45) as he hasn’t really been at his best this season.

He was pleasing enough at Sandown on his first appearance of the season but has since struggled and has been pulled up twice including last time out.

Hopefully he can just run a nice solid race as obviously there are a lot of lively contenders.

Zanza runs in the big hurdle at 15:20. He got a bit stuck in the mud at Sandown but bounced back to form at Taunton when last seen on better ground.

The ground should once again be in his favour and conditions look fine for him. He should run well and goes there with a fighting chance.

Obviously Al Dancer is the one to beat having won so impressively at Cheltenham last time.

I team up with Henry Daly in the Handicap Hurdle (16:30) and ride Lygon Rock  who has been running well in defeat for a long time now.

He hasn’t been beaten all that far in his previous three appearances and was touched off by Paisley Park at Aintree in October.

That is obviously outstanding form and if he can run to that sort of form again he would have a strong each-way chance.

My final ride of the day comes in the bumper on Deadringerforlove (17:00) for trainer and fellow Betway ambassador Harry Fry.

He has run reasonably well in his two appearances to date but it looks a competitive race.

Ascot Chase

I’ve no ride in Saturday’s big race but I think Waiting Patiently will take all the beating.

It has been a bit of a frustrating season for connections having seen him unship Brian Hughes so early in the King George.

He won this last year and I have no doubt that he’s still the one to beat even though he is facing some top-class rivals.

Sunday at Market Rasen

My busy weekend continues on Sunday when I head to Market Rasen for three rides.

Queen’s Magic runs in the Novices’ Hurdle (14:10) and tends to run well without getting his head in front but goes there with a good each-way chance.

I then take the ride of Petronella Manners in the Handicap Hurdle (14:45) as he looks to go one better following a good second at Doncaster back in January.

He should be competitive off his current mark and I’d like to think he’d have a solid chance here.

My final ride of the day comes on The Twisler (15:15) who has finished second and first in his previous two appearances.

He is one that looks to be going the right way and hopefully there is more to come from him.

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