Noel Fehily Blog | 14th October 2017
Noel Fehily Blog – 14th October 2017
How’s it going? It’s great to team up with the guys at 188BET and be able to share my thoughts on this great game via this blog. Hopefully I can steer you in the direction of some winners over the winter and maybe make you laugh too!
New Season Excitement
This is a great time of year for all us jump jockeys. The excitement and tension is rising as the new season begins to kick into gear. There’s a change in atmosphere in the weighing room as we all realise the serious business of the new National Hunt season is upon us.
Saturday’s meeting at Chepstow sort of signals the start of the campaign and I’m buzzing to get to Wales. Perhaps the Showcase meeting at Cheltenham in two weeks is the official start of the season but this feels like a brilliant aperitif.
I’ll tell you about my rides on Saturday in a bit but first I wanted to switch codes and say how delighted I was to hear that Enable is staying in training next season. People often ask us jumps lads whether we follow the Flat and while I wouldn’t watch the day to day stuff I have to say I enjoy the big races. Enable was exceptional in the Arc and she should be one of the stars of the 2018 season.
Talking about stars it’s no surprise to see Richard Johnson is the heavy favourite to win a third successive jump jockeys title this season. Dickie is a total pro and if, god willing, he stays in one piece this year he’ll be crowned champion again in April.
At the time of writing Harry Skelton is just nine winners behind Dickie and it’s great to see him progressing up the ranks. If Dickie was to suffer an injury then I reckon Harry will be the man to take advantage.
Finian’s Oscar v Alcala
Back to Chepstow and there’s no doubt what the big race is on Saturday. The clash between Finian’s Oscar and Alcala in the 3:05 looks a corker but I can’t see the Colin Tizzard charge being beaten.
He looked an outstanding prospect in the Tolworth back in January and he followed that up with a Grade 1 win in Aintree over timber. It will be fascinating to see how he copes with fences and I’d be surprised if he didn’t get off to a winning start here.
Sadly I’m not involved in that race, but I do have three rides at the Welsh track. Let me tell you about them:
Won a bumper at a 188BET sponsored card at Wincanton back in April but was pulled up at Fontwell last month. It’s unlikely that he’ll be good enough to win here.
Harry Fry and I have thought a lot of this horse for a long time and it’s debatable whether he’s really shown us his best form. He’s won twice over hurdles so clearly has things going for him and I really hope he delivers what he’s capable of here. If he does, he has a chance.
Good mare this, she was fourth in that outstanding Mares Hurdle at the Festival earlier this year. I think she’s on a decent mark at the moment too and should be there or thereabouts in what looks a competitive handicap.