It’s official. I have been passed fit to ride Siruh Du Lac in Saturday’s BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham and Monsieur Lecoq on Sunday in the Greatwood Hurdle. I’ve been to Oaksey House in Lambourn every day for my rehab since I broke my arm at Exeter last month and it was always just a question of whether the bone had healed or not.
Luckily it has, so I can ride both. All I need now is for Cheltenham to get the green light after Friday’s meeting was called off.
It’s so great and both must have big chances.
I’ve ridden Siruh Du Lac to win six of his last seven races, including that famous day at the Festival last March. The owners have been very good to me and hopefully it can continue this weekend.
Siruh Du Lac has been in good form at home although he only really comes alive at the racecourse and does run well fresh.
He was handy all the way at the Festival and while you never say no to a lead, he’s so quick over his first couple of fences but he can adapt either way.
He’s a dual course winner at Cheltenham, having won there last January too and the form stack up as Janika, who he beat on both occasions, came out and won the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter a fortnight ago.
We’ll know on Saturday whether he can progress to be a Graded chaser or stays in handicaps.
I’m also looking forward to the ride on Monsieur Lecoq in Sunday’s Greatwood Hurdle.
He’s a legend – really good fun and great to have in the yard for mum. He’s a big character. He can be very lazy though and doesn’t know how good he is yet and has a lot of learning to do.
He’s still naive on a racecourse.
When you ask him to go and win a race it can take a while for him to realise that’s what he has to do.
I won on him last January at Sandown where he travelled so sweetly, it was unreal. But when I asked him to go and win the race it took an age for the penny to drop before he scooted away up the hill to win by nine lengths.
He then finished second in the Imperial Cup, but he could have won it if he was a little more streetwise and didn’t have a clue at the Festival when beaten in the County Hurdle.
Sunday’s Greatwood Hurdle will be a perfect opportunity to see if he can take it to the next level. He needs to be in a race where he’s really tested and has to knuckle down to the job at hand.
Hopefully, he will.
*Prices & entries correct at time of publishing