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OBE from the Queen

It has certainly been a week to remember for me, having received my OBE from the Queen on Tuesday.

The whole family came along and it was a great honour to be recognised for doing a job I love.

It was a fantastic day and was extra special to have my loved ones around me.

I feel really lucky to work in an industry I love so much and it has been nice to receive so many messages of congratulations from so many people.

Newbury on Saturday

We’re just two weeks away from Cheltenham now but my attentions turn to Newbury on Saturday where I have six rides.

My first ride of the day is Tapaculo  in the Seniors Handicap Hurdle (13:30).

He was a really exciting novice but has been off the track for more than three years. I schooled him on Thursday and he seems well in himself after such a long break.

It would be great to see him back to his best but really it’s just great to see him back.

It’s difficult to know what to expect but I’m sure connections would just be happy to see him come home fit and healthy.

I’m on War Sound  in the feature, the Greatwood Gold Cup (14:40).

We aren’t too sure what happened when disappointing last time out at Cheltenham.

That was his second disappointing run at Cheltenham and all we can think is that he maybe prefers flatter tracks such as Aintree and Haydock.

He won at Aintree back in November and a return to that form would see him go close.

It’s obviously a typically competitive handicap and the likes of Happy Diva and Merican Prince look big threats.

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My best ride of the day is Crooks Peak  for Philip Hobbs in the two mile handicap hurdle (15:10).

He’s looking for a hat-trick of wins following victories at Exeter and Kempton.

He’s improving all the time and he should run a really nice race and get competitive with conditions likely to be in his favour.

Precious Bounty  has an each-way chance in the novices’ handicap hurdle (15:45).

It’s a strong race but he is improving, consistent and would have a good chance on his best form.

He has finished twice already this season and a repeat of that would see him go close.

He’s a real genuine horse so it would be nice to see him get his head in front for connections.

On ratings, Indian Hercules  has a really tricky task in the novices’ chase (16:15).

He schooled well on Friday morning and he seems in really good form.

It will be difficult to win with him but he’d be able to pick up the pieces if the race fell apart.

Keep Rolling   is my final ride of the day and he must have a chance in the bumper (16:50).

He put in a very nice performance to win a bumper at Warwick back in December.

Philip then sent him hurdling at Haydock but unfortunately it was a void race due to an issue with the track.

In the end we have just run out of time a bit to get his hurdles career up and running so he is going back in a bumper here.

I have no doubt he will go onto bigger and better things next year and I would expect him to go close here.

Huntingdon on Sunday

I have just the one ride on Sunday at Huntingdon and that’s Jimmy The Digger for Henry Daly in the novices’ hurdle (14:00).

He won a bumper easily when last seen at Ludlow in December, having ran really well at Bangor prior to that and he should go well again.

He looks like quite a nice prospect and will learn a lot from the race.

Lalor

It was great to school Lalor on Thursday down at Philip’s yard.

He felt great and seemed really happy. He did a nice piece of work at Exeter last weekend and now attentions will all be on Cheltenham.

I couldn’t be happier with how he is at the moment and he obviously goes there with a massive chance.

He is a horse I am really looking forward to riding and I’m hopeful he will run a nice race.

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