Noel Fehily Blog | 21st October 2017
Noel Fehily Blog – 21st October 2017
Hiya guys. It’s great to see my fellow 188BET ambassador Silvestre De Sousa taking the well-deserved plaudits this weekend on the Flat but I’m hoping to get my head in front as well.
Tragedy at Kempton
It’s been a bad week for racing with the tragic death of groom Ken Dooley at Kempton on Saturday night. This was a very unfortunate incident and I feel awful for his family. It once again illustrates the dangers and unpredictability of working with animals.
Sam Thomas Comeback?
I noticed some talk earlier in the week about Gold Cup winning jockey Sam Thomas returning to the saddle after a few years out training. I must say I was surprised to read this and part of me thinks his comments may have been taken out of context. Sam’s had a few winners training and I’d be surprised if he chucked that all in to return to riding.
Thursday at Punchestown
Road To Respect was a decent winner of the Daily Star Chase at Punchestown on Thursday but I was more impressed with Death Duty in the Buck House Chase. True, we didn’t really learn too much about the six year old but his turn of foot really caught my eye. With Gordon Elliot plotting his 2017/18 campaign he’s sure to be a big player this season.
The New One
I’m at Stratford on Saturday but it will be intriguing to see how The New One gets on in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las. He’s up against Sire De Grugy and the younger Clyne so it should be a real test for the Twiston-Davies favourite. Young Zac Baker gets the ride and what a thrill it’s going to be for him, I really hope all goes well. All jockeys get this first-big-ride opportunity and mine was on Celibate at Ascot in 1998 for Charlie Mann. I finished second that day.
Smart move from Ffos Las
It’s great to see the Welsh Champion Hurdle getting moved to this weekend actually and it’s certainly got the field it deserves. The ground can get very soft in that part of Wales and it was always battling against the elements in a February slot. Smart move all round to move it to October.
My Saturday rides
So yeah, I’m at Stratford on Saturday with three rides.
I’m expecting improvement from this filly this campaign. I was second on her in her last race at Bangor back in January and she seems to have filled out physically in the intervening nine months. She can be competitive here in this Mares Handicap.
Ran in the Cheltenham Festival last season in the Stable Plate race and loves it fast. He’s got a big task here to be fair and all the runners will have class act Bristol De Mai to beat. It was hard not to be impressed with what that horse achieved last season.
I won a bumper on him at Bangor pretty much exactly a year ago so it’s been a while since we seen this fellow on the track. That bumper form has worked out well and that fills me with confidence here as I look to end my day on a high.