Richard Johnson: Town Parks a very strong chance at Stratford
The champion jockey reveals his best hopes of a winner this weekend by previewing all of his rides at Ayr on Saturday and Stratford on Sunday.
Tiger Roll’s performance in the Grand National will live long in the memory, but it’s up to Ayr for the Scottish version on Saturday.
I have five rides on the card, although nothing in the big one, before a trip to Stratford on Sunday, so hopefully I will be rewarded with some winners.
Ayr on Saturday
My first ride at Ayr comes on Ozzie The Oscar in the opening handicap chase (13:25).
He has proved really useful over fences but in truth he probably has a bit too much weight now.
He arrives in good form, will love the ground and I am sure he will put in a big effort.
The following handicap chase (13:55) looks a competitive race and I ride Drinks Interval for Colin Tizzard.
He was great at the start of the season but just didn’t like the soft ground at Cheltenham.
The flat track and good ground at Ayr should suit much better and the yard is going well so fingers crossed.
Equus Amadeus has won twice this season and it would be great to land the Scottish Champion Hurdle (14:25).
It’s obviously a wide-open and competitive race but both the horse and the yard are in good form.
A career best would be needed but I would be hopeful of a good performance.
I’ve no ride in the Scottish Grand National (15:35) but it looks as competitive as you would expect.
Vintage Clouds was third in this 12 months ago and looks sure to run a big race if none the worse for his fall last weekend.
Dingo Dollar is another that catches the eye. He has been trained with this race in mind and the step up in trip looks worth a go.
Wait For Me didn’t run at Aintree because of the ground and will take his chance in the handicap hurdle (16:10).
The weather has been nice at Ayr the last couple of days and the good ground will suit.
He is a talented horse and needs to put it all together but he has an each-way chance.
My final ride of the day comes on Sunny Express in the bumper (17:20).
I know Warren Greatrex likes him and it would be great to see him run a nice race.
He will learn a lot and it’s a race that tends to bring out some smart horses.
Stratford on Sunday
I ride Minella Bobo for Rebecca Curtis in the novices’ hurdle (14:05) and it’s a nice one to pick up.
He has ran well without winning this season and returns here after a mini-break, which will hopefully freshen him up.
I have won on Kerry Lee’s Town Parks before and it would be nice to do so again in the handicap chase (15:10).
He has finished second on his last two appearances and is running well without winning.
The yard is back among the winners and the track and trip should suit. He should have a very strong chance.
My third ride at Stratford is Head Lad for Jonjo O’Neill in the handicap hurdle (15:45).
He was a bit unlucky last time when brought down and had finished second twice previously, so fingers crossed he can run well.
Legends Gold is running well without ever getting in front but should go well in the mares’ handicap hurdle.
She has been placed in her last three runs and has a chance.
My final ride of the weekend is on Misdflight for Olly Murphy in the handicap chase (16:50).
He put in a nice performance to come second last time but this is a wide-open race.
Lac Sacre won very easily at Ffos Las earlier this month and he could be very hard to beat.
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