THE AI­DAN COLE­MAN COL­UMN

Top Jump jockey speaks from the horse’s mouth

The Racing Paper - - Front Page - AI­DAN COLE­MAN

There’s been a lot of stuff writ­ten and said about the use of the whip fol­low­ing Christophe Soumil­lon’s ride on Thun­der Snow at the Breed­ers’ Cup last week­end, but I feel strongly that we have the whip rules spot on.

I don’t want to dwell on this as it draws at­ten­tion to a topic which doesn’t need de­bat­ing in my view, but the rules are very fair and re­flect the pri­or­i­ties of horse wel­fare.

I re­ally don’t think there is a neg­a­tive pub­lic per­cep­tion – of course there are the odd group, who will ob­ject to rac­ing no mat­ter what – but I never hear peo­ple at the races talk­ing about the whip use.

Most horse peo­ple will you tell you that they are happy with the ex­ist­ing rules and it’s a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it’ to my eyes.

So­journ the pick of my Ain­tree rides:

The pick of my three rides at Ain­tree looks to be So­journ in the Becher Meet­ing De­cem­ber 8 Stan­dard Open Na­tional Hunt Flat Race.

He was a very en­cour­ag­ing fourth in a typ­i­cally com­pet­i­tive 16-run­ner bumper at New­bury a year ago, and the sec­ond and third that day have since gone on to win a cou­ple of races each.

He will have learnt a lot from his de­but and his trainer, An­thony Honey­ball, does re­ally well in bumpers. This looks a great op­por­tu­nity.

Smack­wa­ter Jack, trained by the in-form Olly Mur­phy, runs in the EBF Stal­lions Na­tional Hunt Novices' Hur­dle.

I say Olly’s in-form at the mo­ment, but he’s per­ma­nently in-form such is the fly­ing start he has made to his train­ing ca­reer.

This four-year-old Smack­watr Jack went down by only a nose on his de­but at Fak­en­ham in April and he’s been go­ing well at home. I think this is a nice horse with a fu­ture.

The­fly­ing­por­trait won’t let you down in the Rac­ing UK Hand­i­cap Chase. You know where you are with this horse as he’s very con­sis­tent and front-run­ning tac­tics clearly suit him.

He’s won around Ain­tree be­fore and showed he was as good as ever with a win at Wetherby last month. He looks a nice solid ride to pick up.

Acey Mi­lan re­turns:

The high­light of my trip to Ffos Las to­mor­row is un­doubt­edly Acey Mi­lan, who runs in the Peter Bowen Rac­ing Club Maiden Hur­dle.

He had a great bumper sea­son, win­ning two Listed races at Chel­tenham and New­bury be­fore fin­ish­ing fourth to Rel­e­gate in the Cham­pion Bumper at the Fes­ti­val, where he was beaten just over five lengths.

It was a very good ef­fort, es­pe­cially when you con­sider he’s only four years old.

I schooled him on Tues­day and he did ev­ery­thing right ahead of his hur­dle de­but; I was very pleased with him. He’s got plenty of im­prove­ment in him and could be a real star for An­thony Honey­ball this sea­son.

Ai­dan is spon­sored by Rac­ing UK, which is of­fer­ing a onemonth free trial to the lead­ing horserac­ing chan­nel – but hurry as they only have 3,000 to give away on a first-come-first-served ba­sis. For more, please visit: www.racin­guk.com/free­trial

High­light: Acey Mi­lan

Bumper man: Honey­ball

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