Brendan Powell: I think she’s definitely capable of outrunning her odds
Jockey Brendan Powell previews his rides at Wincanton on Thursday and looks back on last week’s rides on Triple Trade and JPR One at Cheltenham.
Scarface is a horse with plenty of ability, but he just got a little bump at the third at Ascot last time on his first run over fences, and he lost his confidence after that and never really got involved. It was a bit of a non-event last time, but I think a smaller field here round Wincanton will be much more to his liking at this stage.
I do think he’ll jump better tomorrow, and he’s certainly not a bad horse, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he takes a big step forward from that Ascot run.
Although it was obviously a very good race at Chepstow last time, he did disappoint us a little that day. The ground was hard work at Chepstow, and he’s quite a stuffy horse, so I just think it was a bit too much for him at this stage. He came to us with a bit of a reputation, and I know Joe likes him, so hopefully in this less competitive race he can show us what he’s all about.
He’s done plenty of work since the last day, and his work at home has been very good, so if he can translate that to the track, then I think he’ll run a big race.
She hasn’t been too inspiring on the racecourse yet C’est Bleu, but she went for a gallop last week and did a really nice piece of work, so she’s another who needs to translate that to the track now. The wind operation seems to have helped her, so hopefully now that’s sorted she can put in an improved performance.
I imagine she’ll be quite a big price tomorrow, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if she went close, and I think she’s definitely capable of outrunning her odds.
Tamaris has won his last two at Fontwell and Plumpton, so hopefully he can get the hat-trick here tomorrow. He’s done well since joining us from Gary Moore, and Joe’s horses are flying at the moment, so when they are running so well, you just want to get them out on the track.
He is 5lb higher and up in class here, so he will need another step forward, but he does strike me as a horse that has more to come. His wins have come on good ground so he wouldn’t want it too soft, but it rarely gets too testing at Wincanton, so hopefully conditions will be absolutely fine for him.
He really disappointed us last time at Chepstow as he had some decent form for us in his earlier days. He could be well-treated off 95 on his best form, but he needs to pull his finger out tomorrow, and he’s another horse who has shown some decent form at home, but he just hasn’t managed to show that on the racecourse as of yet.
Friday was a rollercoaster of emotions, because one minute you are in the winners’ enclosure with Triple Trade after a fantastic performance to win a competitive handicap, then the next minute you are on the floor after being unseated at the last when seemingly having the race at your mercy.
I’ll start with the high because Triple Trade just keeps improving with every run, and although his chasing career didn’t get off to the best start when coming down at Chepstow last year, he’s more than made up for that since. Friday was definitely a career-best from him, and I must admit I did fancy him going into the race as he’d sharpened up an awful lot from that seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham, and he certainly didn’t let me down.
I think Joe thought I was being a little bit too confident on him turning in, but I just knew he would pick up for me, and it is nice when it all works out and you look a bit of a genius.
He’s a versatile horse with regards to trip which should make Joe’s life a bit easier, because he’s quick enough for two miles as long as the ground is on the slow side, but he’ll also stay those intermediate trips well enough, so there’s plenty of options for him. I still think he’s got a decent pot in him off his revised mark of 136, it’s just whether it’s through the winter on bad ground over two miles, or over a slightly further trip in the spring, but he’s a horse I’m very much looking forward to for the remainder of the season.
About 40 minutes after that high, the low of being unseated from JPR One was tough to take, but the main thing is that the horse has come out of it unscathed, and I’m sure there will be plenty more big days in him. I was so impressed with how JPR One quickened when we were turning for home, and although he’s ended up unseating me, his jumping throughout the race was just unbelievable. He didn’t even make a mistake at the last, it wasn’t as if he overjumped, he’s just met the fence with plenty of speed and momentum, and he’s not quite got his front end out quick enough.
I don’t think I’ve ridden a novice who’s jumped as well as that for a long time. The last one I can remember actually is probably Native River, but JPR One is much quicker than him, and barring that little accident at the last, his jumping really was phenomenal.
He has won over further over hurdles, so I’m sure we’ll have options with him in time, but he does feel like he’s got plenty of gears at the moment, so I wouldn’t be in a rush to step him up in trip until we really have to. He’s got a lovely high cruising speed, and he just feels like a proper two-miler, so although Friday was very unfortunate, at least we know we’ve got a proper horse to look forward to.
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