Our man Sam Twiston-Davies on the Riders Onthe Storm scratching, Sandown’s void race and his chances at Cheltenham

IT’S been an eventful 24 hours to say the least.

I was expecting to get the leg up on Riders Onthe Storm in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham today.

Stewart Williams – The Sun

But he was declared a non-runner for the big race after an innocent mistake.

Nige was making his way back from the stables and rang our office to say that Rocco, who was meant to run at Bangor yesterday, had a sore leg and needed to be scratched.

But our secretary accidentally pulled Riders out today’s race. Dad was back in the office in under a minute and noticed the mistake straight away.

He immediately called Weatherby’s and the BHA to explain what had happened – but they said rules are rules and that they would not put the horse back in the race.

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It goes without saying we were absolutely gutted and pretty miffed. He was favourite for a reason and had a huge chance. Everyone makes mistakes – but clearly no-one at the BHA ever does!

It’s not been a great seven days for them, what with the void race at Sandown last weekend as well.

It was very unfortunate for the lads involved and a 10-day ban going into a busy part of the season is hard to swallow.

It’s a high-pressure job as a jockey. So when you are in the heat of the moment and see a single yellow flag, your immediate instinct is to look for another one.

You’re thinking ‘what if someone has made a mistake or picked up the wrong flag, and I stop riding and lose the race?’.

I hope they can find a way to get the guys off but if you’re going by the book it’ll be tough. After what’s happened hopefully changes will be made.

Back to today’s card at Cheltenham, and I’m hoping that Good Boy Bobby (12.45) can lift the mood in the camp.

We think the world of him and he got off the mark over fences in good style at Wetherby last time over a trip shorter than ideal.

He is improving all the time and we are still dreaming we can come back here to the Festival with him. I reckon he will take a bit of beating.

I found it hard to choose between our two in the Albert Bartlett (2.30) but I went for Mossy Fen.

He won nicely at Aintree to make it 2-2 under Rules and he will love the step back up to 3m. Our other runner Redford Road ran a really good race at Ascot last time and I didn’t pass him over lightly. Both will make lovely chasers in time.

I ride stable legend Ballyandy in the International Hurdle (3.05).

He has a bit to find on form but we know he likes it at Cheltenham and it’s not the deepest renewal, so if he brings his A-game you never know.

The Triumph winner Pentland Hills is in there, but it can be tough for the four-year-old’s going into open company after their juvenile season and we will all fancy our chances of taking him on.


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