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USUALLY I can’t wait to get to Cheltenham on a day like this but, I have to admit, it’s not a nice feeling when you’re out injured.
I’m horrendous when I have to watch from the stands. When I got to Cheltenham yesterday it took me about five minutes to bring myself to get out of the car.
It’s all part of the game and you just have to suck it up but it doesn’t make it any easier.
The trouble is I’ve just got a thumb injury. You feel like you can do just about everything bar race ride so it’s an incredibly frustrating injury.
The cast comes off on Wednesday and I’ll know more about when I can return when I’ve seen the consultant.
The thumb is on the mend and I’ve done a lot of work in the gym to keep. It’s good to get to Oaksey House in Lambourn and take all your frustrations out working hard in there.
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I popped down to Gibraltar on Thursday to have a look around my sponsor’s Unibet headquarters. I don’t think office life would be for me – I don’t think I’d have the concentration. I suppose I could make the tea.
Otherwise, I’ve just been my usual boring self – catching up on various programmes on Netflix. I’ve been watching Killing Eve, which is brilliant.
Today’s racing won’t be as easy to watch as I would have had some nice rides.
Jerry McGrath fills in for me on most of them. He’s a good friend – we’ve grown up in the yard together.
He was injured for a lot of last season and it’s great to see him doing so well but I hope he doesn’t get too used to it – I’ll be back soon.
I’m going to get to Cheltenham nice and early to look at the ground as Coneygree has been declared for the staying chase.
He gave me one of my best days when winning the 2015 Gold Cup but things haven’t gone to plan since then. He’s only run five times since then.
I hope the ground is nice enough to run – he wants a good bit of cut in it. I’ll probably walk the course and you can tell how much I love Coneygree as it’ll risk spoiling my best loafers.
I’ve been schooling him through the summer and he seems in good order. Let’s hope he can take his chance.
We’re positive he has a nice race in him at some point – it’s just a case of when and where.
Obviously the BetVictor Gold Cup is a competitive race but Rather Be (2.25) has to have a favourite’s chance.
He’s Jerry’s ride so at least I’m not missing out on riding him. I won on him at Towcester on his chasing debut when Jerry was injured and I definitely think he’s improved for fences.
He ran some good races last season – including when a neck second behind Mister Whitaker at the Festival. A 9lbs pull should give him a great chance of turning that form around.
He wants good ground and he’s got a nice weight so let’s hope he can do it.
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The guv’nor has some decent chances on Sunday.
Follow The Bear (1.15) ran really well at Aintree – Ned Curtis gave him a great ride.
Ned’s well worth his 3lbs claim and it’ll all help as he’s got top weight.
Claimantakinforgan (1.50) would be bang up there with the best of our novice chasers and we’ve got a strong team.
I liked the way he came away from the last fence on his chase debut at Uttoxeter. I’m hoping to see another nice performance from him.
I was very impressed with Verdana Blue (3.00) when I won on her at Kempton last month. She quickened up smartly to beat an alright field.
She blew them away again at Wincanton last weekend when the heavy rain didn’t really get into the ground – they were just kicking the top off.
She really does benefit from good ground and I’m sure she’ll get that tomorrow. The boss also runs Charli Parcs (3.00). Nicky thinks a lot of him so you’d like to think there’s a big run in him.
Hopefully it won’t all be too painful for me to watch. I just can’t wait to get rid of this cast and get going again.