Sun Racing ambassador Sam Twiston-Davies recaps last week’s success and talks Welsh Champion Hurdle in his latest column

The jumps season got off to a flyer at Chepstow last weekend as old Ballyoptic won the big handicap chase.

He has been a legend for the yard and he jumped and travelled all over them.

Don't miss Sun Racing ambassador Sam Twiston-Davies' latest column
Don’t miss Sun Racing ambassador Sam Twiston-Davies’ latest column

It has been a little while since he last won, so it was great to do it in a nice race for the owners, and thankfully the handicapper hasn’t been too hard on him.

I was impressed with one of Nige’s at Hereford on Wednesday, too.

Don’t Shout had learnt a lot from his hurdles debut at Perth as his jumping was slick and he travelled away great.

He appreciated the step up to 2m4f under positive tactics and he beat a nice one of Tom Lacey’s, so we are hopeful he is a horse who can keep on progressing and win a good race.

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It was a pain to see Newton Abbot washed out last weekend as we were hoping to give Al Dancer his first run over fences.

There are a few options we are looking at but he will be given an entry at Cheltenham next weekend and we’ll see how that is shaping up.

It would be a good experience for him and obviously we are still dreaming that he could be an Arkle horse, so a sighter around there is no bad thing.

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One of the big races over the jumps today is the Welsh Champion Hurdle (4.15) at Ffos Las.

Le Prezien was second to Silver Streak in the race last year off 2lb higher.

I’m not sure if there is anything of Silver Streak’s ability in there this time, though Mohaayed and Clyne both have some smart form.

I’ve ridden Le Prezien in the past, he is a very talented horse as he has shown over hurdles and fences, and he would have to have a good chance with Paul’s horses in great form.

I’ve got three nice rides up at Market Rasen. Earlofcotswolds (3.45) was a 140-rated hurdler and he was second in a big race over timber at Market Rasen last month.

He makes his chasing debut and we have been looking forward to getting him over fences.

It’s a trappy little race, there are a few good ones in there, but he goes well at the track and it’s a lovely starting point for him.

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Dr Newland’s Whoshotwho (4.20) runs in the big £50,000 Prelude Handicap Chase.

He has lots of good form around the track and the ground should be perfect for him.

He’s been in good nick at home, he’s been working really well in the lead up to this and it’s worth a lot of money, so we are very hopeful of a big run from him.

Me and Big Nige back at it again this weekend…

I also ride Don’t Go Gentle (5.30) for Dad in the three-year-old bumper.

He’s been working away OK and he is more forward than a handful of our other three-year-olds, so we will get him on the track, see what he’s got and then we can start judging where we are at with the rest of our youngsters.


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