Hello, I’m Harry Cobden and I’m very pleased to be starting my weekly blog for Geegeez.co.uk. I’m currently a 3lb conditional jockey to Paul Nicholls, and my aim at the start of the season was to become Champion Conditional! With 21 winners on the board this season I’m leading by three, so it’s a case of so far so good.
It’s been a brilliant ten days for me with three doubles – at Wincanton, twice, and Kempton in between. I also managed a Cheltenham winner, on Cliffs Of Dover. Wincanton has been very lucky for me in the last week with four winners from eight rides, and I think that’s now eleven of my 53 winners in all at one of our local tracks.
Cliffs Of Dover has had a terrific week, winning at Wincanton (breaking the track record in the process) and then two days later traveling well to win around Kempton Park in a competitive juvenile hurdle. Five days later, we were winning at Cheltenham in the same race that I won last season on Old Guard.
I went on to win the Grade 3 Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham’s Open meeting with Old Guard. Still only three, Cliffs Of Dover is too young to go there, but he’s a fast improving juvenile. All going well Cliffs of Dover should run at Wetherby on Friday in a Listed race. He’s a tough little horse with a big heart, he seems fresh and well at home at the moment, and should hopefully run a big race at, although he does have to carry a penalty.
Mr and Mrs Cotton, his owners, have been quite lucky to have horses like Mon Parrain, Sametegal and Mon Successeur, and this looks another good one for them.
Boa Island could be well handicapped after his performance at Wincanton on Sunday, and could run in the next couple of days under a penalty. He jumped and travelled well and won nicely. Rouge Devils won his second race in nine days earlier in the afternoon, just getting up by a nose. It was a tough performance but he battled the finish out well, and though there may be a nice little handicap hurdle in him, I think his future lies over fences.
I rode Thegreendalerocket (2.00) at Chepstow a couple of weeks ago, and he ran a great race to be third for trainer Jimmy Frost. With Boa Island a non-runner, I’ve picked up a good spare and think he could improve for the step up in trip, with any ease in the ground expected to be in his favour. I also ride Jimmy’s Sangram (5.10) but he might just need the run on his first start for seven months. He’s a nice big horse with plenty of scope and I think we could see the best of him when he jumps a fence, possibly a nice novice handicap chase. He’s already a point to point winner from a couple of years back.
Things are happening quickly for me at the moment and, although it was only nine days ago, it seems like ages since riding my 50th winner on Miss Tenacious last Sunday week at Kempton. It was a really satisfying milestone, but especially riding a winner for Ron Hodges who has been one of my greatest supporters from a very young age: he actually went and bought half of my first racing pony with my father in Kent when I was nine years old! He has always had a watchful eye on me throughout my pony racing career.
Miss Tenacious has been a wonderful mare for me over the last couple of seasons, rarely finishing out of the first four, and riding for lovely owners like Mr and Mrs John and Paul Frampton has been a real pleasure during my riding career so far.
Right, that’s me for now, I’ll have another update next week. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it.
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