The Racing UK jockey delivers his tribute to the unfortunate Fountains Windfall, goes through his Saturday rides and has his say on the Irish rights switch.
By Aidan Coleman
I was meant to be riding Fountains Windfall at Warwick on Saturday, but I got the call at Kempton on Friday to say that he’d died in a freak schooling accident.Fountains Windfall died in a freak accident on Friday (PA)
I’m devastated for Anthony Honeyball and the owners, The Fountains Partnership. It’s horrible when you lose a horse, but even more so when they’re as highly-talented as Fountains Windfall.
He was Anthony’s stable star and quite rightly. I’d won on him four times and he should have probably won a fifth, and a Grade One at that, but for falling at Kempton on Boxing Day.
He had so much potential and this race was meant to be a stepping-stone to the Cheltenham Festival. My thoughts are with Anthony and the owners.
I have four rides at Warwick on Saturday and Saint Calvados is a tremendously exciting horse and, to be totally honest, we’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t win.
He couldn’t have done anything better in his two runs over fences. He jumped really well both times and hasn’t had to answer any questions yet.
That could change with North Hill Harvey in the field. He's one of three rivals in the Grade Two Betway Kingmaker Novices' Chase. He’s got an 18-length Cheltenham Grade Two win to his name this season, which was sandwiched by a win over Sceau Royal in October and a second to the same horse last time. He’s rated only 2lb lower than my fella, but he has achieved more strictly on the formbook.
If we are beaten then it would be no disgrace, but, given Saint Calvados’ potential, we would naturally be disappointed.
Royal Tara is a nice, big horse but hasn’t run since May and will have his first run for Venetia Williams. I am not sure it will be his day in the Visit The All New racinguk.com Novices' Hurdle, but I think he’s one for the future.
Lamanver Odyssey runs in the Listed olbg.com Mares' Hurdle. I won on her at Wincanton in November. She loves soft ground and is a very straightforward, but she’s rated 20lb behind Midnight Tour and it’s a jump in class that is going to make things tricky.
I rode Just A Thought to finish third in a Listed bumper at Sandown in March, and she hasn’t finished out of the places in her seven starts. She ran a good race at Newbury last month, and on that level of form she’d have a good chance in the John Lockley 60th Birthday Celebration Handicap Hurdle.
Cloudy Bob won on his first start for Anthony on Sunday and makes a quick reappearance in the Champions League Betting At 188Bet Veterans' Handicap Chase at Exeter on Sunday. He’s got a good chance of making it a quick double.
Irish rights: Finally, there’s been a load of stuff written about Irish racing joining Racing UK from next year, and a lot of people have their own views on how it might work. I am obviously a Racing UK ambassador, so you could say I’m biased, but I don’t agree with those who question the quality of Racing UK’s production and presentation.
I appear on Racing UK on a regular basis, and obviously watch the channel when I can, and can vouch for the planning, effort and passion that goes into each programme. Irish racing will be in very good hands when it comes to how it’s promoted and showcased on TV.
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