HAS IT ALL
BEAKSTOWN was second in a bumper at Kempton last season. The winner (Commanche Red) has since won impressively at Fontwell. He’s going to go novice hurdling but, really, he’s a chaser in the making. He’s a very nice horse and we think he can take a high rank over hurdles.
WATERS is a fine big chaser in the making.
He runs at Aintree today over fences for the first time. He ran very well in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last
did nothing but progress last year for me. He has won all of his six starts over fences, and I would say he’s still improving. Ruth (Jefferson, his trainer) is getting him ready for the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day. He’s got everything. A very exciting and talented horse. CLOUDY DREAM has loads of ability but he’s not had the rub of the green. He wants some nice ground and a race over two-and-a-half miles to show his best. He will come on for his run
BLACK CORTON is always a pleasure to ride, he’s my best mate. He’s made me who I am in my career. I owe everything to him. Obviously, we now have the three-mile handicap chases he can run in this season. He’s come out of his recent race at Wetherby (second to Definitly Red) in a happy frame of mind and is absolutely fine. I can’t wait for him to get back on the track. PRESENT MAN
gives you the feel like you are sitting on the top of the world with him. It was a fairy tale when he won last year’s Badger Ales Chase at Wincanton. Can lightning strike twice when he runs in today’s race? It does sometimes and that’s what I will hold on to. To ride MILANSBAR
round Aintree again in the Grand National for trainer Neil King would be something special. We finished fifth last season, behind Tiger Roll and he made three places on the run-in. It was a pretty cool thing. If the Irish don’t turn up (Irishtrained horses filled the first four places in last season’s National) who knows what will happen. Hey, look, it’s the most unpredictable race.
RIVER RUNS DEEP: Richard Johnson hopes for Gold Cup encore with Native River. Inset, Milansbar