Connections’ Christmas Crackers

December 21, 2018 News
CHRISTMAS is coming and, perhaps more importantly, it signals a fantastic period of racing between December 26 and the New Year.
We spoke to some big names who are set to be in action over the festive period to find out who they are most looking forward to – and who they would like to be involved with from other yards.
 
Harry Cobden, first jockey to Paul Nicholls
Who are you most looking forward to riding over the festive period?
Clan Des Obeaux in the King George at Kempton. He’s a gorgeous horse with a lot of talent and he’s also running in the biggest race during the time. I think he can run a real good race.
 
And, if you could, which horse from another stable would you like to be riding?
Thistlecrack. He’s in seriously good form at home and he deserves to have a lot of respect going into the King George. I think he was the one to take from the Betfair Chase last time.
 
Sean Flanagan, stable jockey to Noel Meade
Who are you most looking forward to riding over the festive period?
I’m massively looking forward to riding Road To Riches in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown. He won it last year and I think he’s in better form going into it this year. He’s in great order.
 
And, if you could, which horse from another stable would you like to be riding?
Bristol De Mai in the King George. The fashion he won the Betfair Chase in you have to think he’s got a strong chance, especially if the ground came up on the soft side.
 
Noel Meade, trainer
Who are you most looking forward to running over the festive period?
Road To Respect in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown. He’s in great order and doing everything right in the run up to the race. I’m looking forward to it.
 
And, if you could, which horse from another stable would you like to be running?
Samcro. I think he’s got a lot of talent and I’m sure he’s going to go on to bigger and better things.
 
Gary Moore, trainer
Who are you most looking forward to running over the festive period?
Dell Oro at Kempton on Boxing Day. The ground should suit him better there and I was really pleased with his run last time. I think he can improve on that too.
 
And, if you could, which horse from another stable would you like to be running?
I’d love to be saddling Waiting Patiently in the King George. He’s a lovely horse and has everything you need for that race.
 
Patrick Mullins, assistant to Willie Mullins
Who are you most looking forward to running over the festive period?
I’m definitely most looking forward to seeing Footpad out again. He slipped up on his return and pulled some muscles in his back, but he’s looking good at home so I’m optimistic he back get back to his best and on the Champion Chase trail.
 
And, if you could, which horse from another stable would you like to be running?
Buveur D’Air in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. I think he’d be a fantastic horse to ride with the way he goes over his hurdles. He looked almost unbeatable at Newcastle last time out.
 
Fergal O’Brien, trainer
Who are you most looking forward to running over the festive period?
Coolanly in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury. I was impressed with his performance at Cheltenham and he’s been in good form since then. I think he’ll handle any ground.
 
And, if you could, which horse from another stable would you like to be running?
Bristol De Mai. He’s not had the same niggly preparation as he had last year and he was excellent at Haydock last time. He answered a lot of question about the ground that day and if it comes up soft at Kempton it’ll be even better for him.
 
Joseph O’Brien, trainer
Who are you most looking forward to running over the festive period?
I’m lucky to have a lot of nice horses running during Christmas and new year. That said, I can’t wait to see Edwulf run in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown as he’s such a special horse.
 
And, if you could, which horse from another stable would you like to be running?
That’s a difficult question as there are so many good horses in training in Ireland at the moment especially. If I could, I’d love to have Samcro or Altior. They’re both really talented horses.
 
Harry Skelton, stable jockey to Dan Skelton
Who are you most looking forward to riding over the festive period?
Mohaayed in the Betfair Exchange Trophy at Ascot on Saturday. It’s a race we’ve won before and I think he’s got a good profile for the race.
 
And, if you could, which horse from another stable would you like to be riding?
Buveur D’Air in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. He looked superb in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle last time and I’m sure he’s going to be hard to beat again.