There’s Rain Forecast And I Need It To Stay Away

Only a week to go now until Cheltenham and we’re involved in a few last minute preparations and looking forward to it all starting next week.

I’m interested to see what conditions will be like next week and I was reading in the paper this morning that there is a bit of good in the ground although there is a bit of rain forecast. I think it’s fair to say that 90% of my horses would prefer it if the going was a bit better than soft so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that it’ll be ok.

There has been a bit of speculation over who will ride Don Cossack in the Gold Cup and Bryan Cooper has until Wednesday morning to make his decision. He says he is going to leave it as late as he can but I’m sure he will ride either Don Cossack or Don Poli. Time will tell!


Joseph O’Brien
Today’s Racing Post carries the news that Joseph O’Brien has decided to quit the saddle to concentrate on training. I know Joseph well and he’s a good fella. He’s a big lad so it’s not a surprise to see him concentrate on his training now. He’s effectively been training those horses on the hills for the past year and I’m sure he’ll make a wonderful job of it.

It was interesting that he said training a winner gave him a better kick than actually riding one.

I suppose when you’re riding horses at the end you take the saddle off and it’s straight on to worrying about the next one. As a trainer you’re there with the horses 24/7, you’ve to take them home and plot where you’re sending them next.

I never rode at the same level as Joseph O’Brien; he had massive success but I still have to agree with what he says, for me training a winner will always be better than riding one.

Next week I’m hoping for a few of those kicks at the Festival, it really feels like the Olympics of Horse Racing and we all want to have winners. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that we get a winner out of it and if we get one it’ll be great, any more after that even better.

We’ll probably end up sending about 21/22 horses over as well as 10-12 staff. There will be two trips over. My Tuesday and Wednesday horses will travel over on Saturday, while the Thursday and Friday ones go on Monday.

They’re all pretty fit now and the hard work is done so when they get over there it’ll be a case of keeping their legs stretched and keeping them eating and drinking. Keeping them in one piece is all we need to worry about now and the girls do a great job.

It’ll be a quiet enough week for me in the run up now, so just a quick tip for anyone going over the first time – bring a good pair of shoes, and a good jacket!