The Aidan Coleman column: Final Nudge set for another bold show

By Aidan Coleman
Sat 3 Feb 2018

Racing UK ambassador Aidan Coleman gives his thoughts on Saturday's racing, tells us about his own rides and pays tribute to Taquin Du Seuil

By Aidan Coleman

There’s plenty of exciting racing to look forward to this weekend with Grade 1 action at Sandown and across the Irish sea at Leopardstown, plus a decent card up at Wetherby featuring the Grade 2 Towton Novices’ Chase.

Daryl Jacob has a great record in Sandown’s big race, the Betfred TV Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase, at 2.25 pm.

He’s won the last three runnings and will be hoping to add to his tally with Nicky Henderson’s Terrefort who runs in the colours of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, whose horses have won the past three runnings.

It would be no surprise to see them enjoying another great Saturday afternoon.

By the time he runs we will already have seen Buveur D’Air face just two rivals in the Betfred ‘Supports Jack Berry House’ Contenders Hurdle, the race he won last year en route to Champion Hurdle glory, and I am sure Barry Geraghty will enjoy every minute of him.

I’ve got two rides for David Dennis, the first of them in the Betfred Mobile Masters Handicap Chase at 3.35 pm where I’ll again be teaming up with Final Nudge.

He ran a blinder to finish third in the Coral Welsh National and I couldn’t have been more pleased with him. The drop back in trip will suit and I expect we’ll see another big run from him.

In the Betfred Follow Us On Twitter Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at 4.10 pm I’m riding Just So Cool. He stayed on well to win by 3½ lengths over this trip last time at Huntingdon, and despite being the oldest horse in the race, there’s no reason why he should not run well.

Cheltenham Racecourse - The Open - BetVictor Gold Cup Day Taquin Du Seuil gave me one of the best days of my life (PA)

All eyes will be on the 2015 Champion Hurdle winner, Faugheen, in the BHP Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.

He looked like he was back to his best when he returned as the runaway winner of the Grade 1 Unibet Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown in November after a long lay-off, then foxed us all when he was pulled up in the Ryanair at Leopardstown at Christmas.

He’s up against some smart types including stablemate, Melon, who is bound to give a good account of himself, and Philip Hobbs’ Defi Du Seuil in what looks like a fascinating contest.

It will be just one of what I’m sure will be many highlights of the new Dublin Racing Festival, which with seven Grade 1s and huge prize money already looks set to be a great success.

It’s never good to end on a sad note but I must mention the brilliant Taquin Du Seuil, who we lost at Huntingdon last Friday.

He was an absolute star and I know how much he was loved by his owners, Jonjo O’Neill who did fantastically with him and all the team at Jackdaws.

He gave me one of the best days of my life when we won the BetVictor Gold Cup and he will be very sadly missed.

Wherever you are this weekend, enjoy your racing.

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