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Richard Johnson: I think Menorah will run a massive race

30 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Richard Johnson: I think Menorah will run a massive race

In his exclusive column, the National Hunt jockey and Betway ambassador previews his weekend rides at Wetherby and Huntingdon

I’m up at Wetherby on Saturday and I’m really looking forward to Menorah in the Charlie Hall Chase.

We won the race last year, he’s in great form and is just very, very solid. He’s the one I’m most looking forward to this weekend, let’s hope we can win it again.

My first ride is Draytonian in the novices’ hurdle (12.50pm). He did everything really nicely at home before his bumper at Warwick last March, but he was admittedly a shade disappointing that day.

He was having his first ever run and we still think he’s a nice horse. The form of that race has actually worked out quite well, I think it was an above average bumper.

The summer will have done him the world of good and fingers crossed he can put in a good run.

Beg To Differ (1.25pm) improved throughout last season, winning his last three hurdles. He looks a decent novice chaser, but this is quite a warm race.

Southfield Royale has already had a run, which is an advantage, while Neil King’s Zeroshadesofgrey is also respected.

It looks like a good renewal of the West Yorkshire Hurdle (2.00pm), and don’t forget that last year’s World Hurdle winner, Cole Harden, won this prize on his reappearance 12 months ago.

I’m on Kilcooley for Charlie Longsdon and he was another big improver last season, romping home in a Haydock handicap and then taking the National Spirit at Fontwell.

He’s a front runner and Charlie’s horses are in great form. I think he’ll put up a bold show, but Rock On Ruby is the one we all have to beat.

Bantam goes for the mares’ hurdle (2.30pm) and she is a really decent mare. She ran well last time at Stratford and has been a measure of consistency.

Although she has a bit to find on ratings, my main worry is the ground because she definitely doesn’t want too much rain.

It’s a very open race and Ma Filleule is probably the main danger. She has some very good form and is interesting back over hurdles.

Menorah is such a wonderful horse and I honestly wouldn’t swap him for anything else in the Charlie Hall Chase (3.05pm).

His form last season was as good as it’s ever been and Philip Hobbs’ horses are in fantastic form.

Hopefully the ground won’t get too soft – good-to-soft would be fine – but it’s early in the season and the ground should be in great condition.

It looks an open race and all seven of them have the form to win it if on a going day.

Many Clouds needs no introduction and I’m sure with him and Holywell in the field there won’t be any dawdling.

Cue Card and Dynaste are both very good horses, and it won’t be easy giving them 10lb, but I think Menorah will run a massive race.

My last ride of the day is Champagne At Tara in the handicap hurdle (4.10pm).

I think he’s been a bit of a difficult horse to train, but he’s shown some fairly decent form and he’s been given some time to grow up and learn what it’s all about.

I have a busy day at Huntingdon on Sunday and the one I’m most looking forward to is Jaboltiski (1.50pm) in the juvenile hurdle.

Philip bought him in France at the end of last year and it’s really difficult to get good juveniles these days.

The way he schools at home, he’s in a similar mould to Golden Doyen. It would be great if he could turn out as good as him.

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