Don’t miss Unibet ambassador Nico de Boinville’s latest column as he looks forward to his Sandown rides
Category : Horse Racing
IT was great to hear they don’t expect any problems with the weather at Sandown today.
Stomping through the snow to feed the horses at my wife’s stud in the Cotswolds yesterday morning I didn’t hold out much hope to be honest.
It’ll be great to get back on track after a few days off – not least because up until Jack Frost swept in it had been a good week.
I won the Grade 2 River Don Novices’ Hurdle on Nadaitak – the outsider of the field – at Doncaster last weekend. I’ve been on a right roll since then as my last five rides have all won.
The last one was on Nestor Park for Ben Pauling all the way up at Newcastle but I’ll go anywhere for a winner.
I taxied a few of the boys up there and I don’t mind driving, especially when there’s a few of you in the car.
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Tom Cannon and his missus have just had their first child and he was telling me all about it. I realise I’ve got a lot to learn.
I’m obviously hoping I can keep my hot streak going today and it will also be nice not to have to go up to help out with the foaling sheds I’m having built.
It might not have been snowing on Thursday when I was up there but it was pretty cold.
I’d ridden out for my boss Nicky Henderson earlier in the morning and it wasn’t any warmer down there.
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Luckily, having worked at Seven Barrows up above Lambourn for coming up to ten years, I’m well used to it by now. I certainly don’t skimp on the layers when it’s like this.
It’s not such a problem when you’re riding in races as you get fairly warm quite quickly, especially when you’re riding in races one after the other.
We certainly don’t wear those thick black breeches you see some of the Flat lads in during the winter.
That’s a bit soft, if you ask me.
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I’ve got three rides at Sandown to keep me warm today.
Raising The Bar (12.40) has been off since the track since the summer of 2017.
He showed a bit of ability in bumpers. I rode him when he was second at Huntingdon and I got off him thinking he was a nice horse with a bit of potential.
He’s been working well and schooling well for this hurdles debut so we’re just hoping for a nice, positive run from him.
He’s been in a while now so he should be good to go and this looks like a nice starting point for him. He’ll definitely want 2m4f in the future but, on a galloping track like Sandown, this is probably ideal for him first time up.
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We didn’t run Divine Spear (3.35) at Ascot the other day because we thought the ground was just a bit quick for him.
We’ve always been wanting to try him over 3m and I think this is the right race for him. It should be lovely soft ground so there’s no problem on that score.
He won his first two races over fences last year and then the sharp track was to blame when he was beaten at Musselburgh.
I pulled him up at Cheltenham last time when the ground was just too quick for him over 2m4f. I think he’s a stayer and he wants a nice, big track.
If we got in the frame I’d be very happy.
She Mite Bite (4.10) makes her handicap debut and I think the mark she’s been given is very fair.
She’s got a bit of form with a horse I won on at Warwick called Yellow Dockets. She was third that day and I’ve won on Yellow Dockets since and she’s a horse I like.
That race has worked out really well as the runner-up also went on to win and She Mite Bite stumbled two from home when she was right there.
I think she’s improving from run-to-run so hopefully there’s a bit more to come. She should be bang there and she’s my best chance today.