Brendan Powell: “To have a few rides with solid chances in those big Saturday races is really exciting”
Jockey Brendan Powell previews his weekend rides at Newbury and Exeter.
After hitting the crossbar on a few recently, I was delighted to ride a couple of winners at Southwell and Huntingdon this week, so hopefully that form continues into the weekend.
It’s an excellent card at Newbury this weekend, and to have a few rides with solid chances in those big Saturday races is really exciting.
I love riding this horse as he rarely runs a bad race. He won this last year in similar conditions, and he’s been in good form at home, so hopefully he has a solid chance.
We are trying the cheekpieces for the first time tomorrow in the hope that they make my life a bit easier. He’s just travelled a little bit behind the bridle on his last few runs, so hopefully they’ll help him travel a bit better. It won’t be easy giving the weight away to Hitman and Fanion D’estruval, but if the cheekpieces eke out a bit of improvement, then he should be bang there.
Greaneteen looks like he’s going to be hard to beat here, but it’s a horse race, and Elixir De Nutz is very good on his day. Track, trip and ground should all suit my lad, so I’d like to think he’ll at least pick up some nice prize money.
He felt like he improved for the first-time cheekpieces when winning at Wincanton last time, and he wears them again here, so even though this clearly demands a lot more, I’d be hopeful of a bold showing.
I haven’t ridden this lad before, so I don’t know lots about him, but Sam Drinkwater is a good young trainer, so it’s nice to pick up a spare ride on one of his horses.
He won in really nice style on his first start over hurdles at Ffos Las back in November, and although he’s disappointed back there since, the form of that debut effort would give him a solid chance in this race.
He ran well last time at Kempton when third behind a couple of nice horses who’ve gone on to better things, and I wouldn’t say this race is anywhere near as competitive.
We’re still kind of learning about him at this stage, but I’d say 2m 2f round Exeter should suit him well. I think he’ll make a lovely staying chaser in the future, but this doesn’t look the strongest race in the world, so I’d be very disappointed if we couldn’t hit the frame at the very least.
He ran well up to a point at Sandown last time, but whatever happens here, I’m sure he’ll make me work for my riding fee. You just never know with these old boys when they are going to turn up again, but he’s been dropped another 5lb since that Sandown run, so he’s chucked in on some of his best form.
We’ve swapped the blinkers for cheekpieces this time round, whether that will work or not remains to be seen, but sometimes with these older horses, swapping and changing their headgear can present that element of surprise and just perk them up a bit.
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