Noel Fehily Blog | 17th February 2018
It’s nice to get back in the saddle after my suspension and I’m raring to go at Haydock on Saturday with some good rides in the book.
So much respect for Altior
I thought there were some great performances at Newbury last Saturday, none more so than Altior who won the Game Spirit in fine style. I’m a massive fan of Altior having ridden the horse and what he did on Saturday was very special. To come back from a wind op and be tight with time and then easily beat a decent Tingle Creek winner was superb. Big respect to Nicky Henderson too, a great training performance.
2018 might suit Native River better
It was good to see Native River back on the track last weekend and I can see him being in the mix for the Gold Cup. Many people have asked why he should win in 2018 when he couldn’t win in 2017 but he had such a hard season last year. He won the Hennessy, Welsh National and Denman within the space of two and a half months so he may have been over the top at the Festival. This year that won’t be the case.
Not getting carried away by Kalashnikov
Kalashnikov is now Britain’s best hope in the Supreme according to the betting after his Betfair Hurdle win. I thought it was a good performance but he still has a bit to find for me. He was beaten fair and square at Sandown in the Tolworth Hurdle by Summerville Boy and I’m not sure why that form will be reserved.
Ideal Aintree weight for American
I was very happy with the weight American got for the Grand National. 11 Stone 2 is very fair. With a bit of juice in the ground he’s got a big chance. He’ll certainly stay the trip. I wasn’t at the event at BAFTA HQ earlier in the week but I’ve no problem with the pomp and ceremony of these kind of things. This is our big race after all. I haven’t had a chance to have a proper look at the weights but Minella Rocco stands out on 11 Stone 7.
Onto Haydock tomorrow and I have four rides to get stuck into…
1:30 Swaffham Bulbeck
This is my first ride for Olly Murphy and I’m looking forward to this. He was second on his debut and the third that day won on Thursday so it bodes well and the form looks good.
This fella has a decent each way chance for sure. He ran a very good race in the Welsh National finishing fifth and his form stacks up well. He beat Native River last season and finished in front of Grand National winner One For Arthur at Kelso a while back. I think he’ll run well.
3:50 Noble Robin
He’s a big chasing type this one. I’ve not ridden him but I’ve seen him. He won his last two races but we don’t what he beat really. I’m hopeful of a decent run.
4:25 Chef Des Obeaux
He won very well at Kempton for me last month and he’ll have ground conditions in his favour tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to getting back on him here.