It's been a while since my last blog, with Cheltenham and Aintree both been and gone. I only had the one ride at the Cheltenham's Festival, and unfortunately it was the slowest run race of the week. This was not ideal for me, so I had to settle for ninth place. I guess I'm going to have to wait till next year for my first Festival winner. It was a great week, with the highlight for me being Synchronised winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup. His owner JP McManus puts so much into racing so it was great to see him win this race for the first time. Other highlights were watching Big Buck's win his fourth World Hurdle, and watching Noel Fehily - one of the nicest guys in the weighing room - win the Champion Hurdle.
Then last weekend was Aintree, again Big Buck's was awesome on the Thursday winning the Liverpool Hurdle and making it his 17th win in succession. He is definitely one of the best jump horses we've ever seen in training. On the Friday I had my fourth attempt at the National fences in the John Smith's Topham Chase and for the first time I got round! It is such a thrill riding over those fences and my horse gave me a great ride, jumping from fence to fence. I think we both really enjoyed it.
Then onto Saturday and the Grand National itself. Unfortunately the race has been marred by a couple of accidents (see news story here) which was such a shame as it was the closest finish I have seen to the race ever. It was an amazing spectacle to see two horses fight out such a close finish after four and a half miles. Both Neptune Collonges (1st) and Sunnyhillboy (2nd) deserve so much more credit for their efforts than they are getting, because people are letting other issues take away from what a great race it was.
On a much happier note, between Cheltenham and Aintree we had The Lesters. For anyone that doesn't know, these are the Jockeys' awards, and the evening was held in the Hilton in Birmingham on 5 April. I like to take my sponsors every year from mayiclaim.co.uk as my way of thanking them for their kind support throughout the season, and I think yet again they all had a good night. With no racing the next day, it gives all of us the chance to relax, enjoy the evening and let our hair down a little. So many stories, so little time!
Hopefully it won't be so long till my next blog, and hopefully I'll have some winners along the way.