Native River was obviously the highlight of the last week. He felt very well in himself and though you had to be a little apprehensive after a long absence – albeit for a fairly small injury – in the race itself he felt every bit as good as last year. He jumped with enthusiasm, and he’s come out of the race well.
His Gold Cup credentials are as solid as anything else’s and I am really looking forward to it.
I was at Philip’s schooling on Monday. The horses seem in good form. He doesn’t tend to have mud lovers, so we are eagerly waiting for better weather and better ground.
Due to the abandonment on Tuesday I was able to have an extra day at home, which is good in half term week. It being Pancake Tuesday, we went for brunch in Ludlow, which was very nice.
Where I ride at the weekend hinges on Philip and the weather. Sadly that will be without Liam Treadwell, who has just announced his retirement. He’s been a familiar cheery presence in the weighing room for a long time, riding plenty of winners at Chepstow for Venetia Williams and others. He achieved every jockey’s dream of winning the Grand National on Mon Mome. Liam is a very good friend and I hope he will be able to stay in racing.