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The Aidan Coleman column: Everyone will be willing on Beer Goggles

By Aidan Coleman
Fri 26 Jan 2018

Racing UK ambassador Aidan Coleman reflects on the tragic death of trainer Richard Woollacott.

By Aidan Coleman

Beer Goggles will carry so many hopes on Saturday, when he lines up for the galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham.

He was trained by Richard Woollacott, who tragically died this week at the age of 40.

I rode for Richard a few times, and it was only last week when I was chatting to him at Hereford. He was always good company and really likeable. There was a sense of numbness in the racing world when the news filtered through.

He was a trainer going places, but regardless of that, he was just a really nice fella and it’s a big loss.

There is a page set up in Richard's memory and it's in aid of charities, Mind, Injured Jockeys Fund and Devon Air Ambulance and you can donate here.

Beer Goggles caused one of the real stories of the season when beating Unowhatimeanharry and Thistlecrack to win the Long Distance Hurdle last month and runs at Cheltenham under the licence of his wife Kayley.

Everyone will be willing him on and the horse would be hugely poignant winner.

Bristol De Mai hard to oppose:

Nigel Twiston-Davies Stable Visit - Grange Hill Farm

While we’re on the subject of Cheltenham, the Gold Cup trial, the Betbright-sponsored Cotswold Chase takes place earlier.

I can’t see beyond Bristol De Mai. I know he disappointed last time in the King George, but revisit his previous two wins - the defeat of Blaklion in the Charlie Hall Chase, and then his 57-length win in the Betfair Chase - to see his true ability.

The soft going will suit and this race isn’t nearly as strong as the King George.

Bookmakers have Tenor Nivernais right at 12-1:

As for me, I am travelling up to Doncaster where the feature race is the Sky Bet Handicap Chase.

I am on my old favourite, Tenor Nivernais, who you’ll see at the top of the weights, carrying 11st 12lb.

He was meant to run last week but suffered a little knock; obviously it’s nothing serious given he’s reappearing seven days later.

He always seems to be at his best when fresh and the trip of three miles and soft ground will suit, but it does look a very competitive race; it’s going to be very difficult to beat L’Ami Serge for instance.

The bookies have him at 12-1 and that’s probably about right.

Other rides:

I ride Linenhall in the Albert Bartlett River Don Novices' Hurdle.

It’s a big step up from a second in a Class Four novice hurdle at Towcester to a Grade Two and he’s rated 124 compared to Calett Mad, who is 141. But connections obviously must think a lot of him and it’s still very early days in the six-year-old’s career.

Movie Legend runs in the Sky Bet Britain's Most Popular Online Bookmaker Handicap Chase. He’s been tremendously consistent, having been placed in 10 of his 19 starts. He’s got a bit to find but he’s bottom-weight and I reckon he could run well.

Horse Racing - Haydock Racecourse

Truly Amazing hasn’t run before but I’d keep an eye on her in the directlinegroupcareers.com British EBF Mares' Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

I haven’t sat on this mare before, but she has a lovely pedigree, being by Presenting and out of Asian Maze, who was a high-class mare and is connected to some good winners. Emma Lavelle’s horses are in good nick too.

I’ll pick out one from my rides at Fontwell on Sunday and that’s My Dance in the Lorrain & Stephen O’Mahoney Celebrating 10 Years Novices' Hurdle. She won well at the course last time, likes the ground and is very straightforward.

Taquin Du Seuil was a class act

Sadly, we lost Taquin Du Seuil, who I rode a number of times, at Huntingdon on Friday.

He was a class act and his death is a big loss to the yard and his owners. He's been a great stalwart and it's heartbreaking for everyone involved.

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