Nicholls: Harry’s got to go to Ascot
Trainer quashes any thought Cobden will not get back on Bravemansgame after Haydock.Paul Nicholls has cited a clash in meetings between Haydock and Ascot as the reasoning behind Harry Cobden missing the ride on Bravemansgame in the Betfair Chase. The gelding, who was second in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, has only ever been ridden by Cobden in 18 starts under rules as he is the Ditcheat stable jockey. That will change on Saturday, however, as Daryl Jacob steps in for the mount at Haydock with Cobden due to head to Ascot to partner Pic D’Orhy in the Grade Two 1965 Chase. Cobden is also expected to partner a full book of Nicholls-trained rides on the day and the trainer cites this as the reason for the change – with Cobden also seen as more pivotal to Pic D’Orhy’s success than he is to Bravemansgame’s. “Harry’s got to go to Ascot, he’s got six good rides there including Pic D’Orhy. It wasn’t an easy decision but it’s sometimes good to let someone else have the ride because if ever you need a reserve in the future you’ve got one,” Nicholls said on a press call hosted by the Jockey Club. “That’s the decision we’ve made and that’s what Bryan’s (Drew, owner) happy with so that’s where we’re going. “We’ve always had Pic D’Orhy in mind going to Ascot, Johnny’s (De la Hay, owner) got 15 or 16 very nice horses in training with us and he needs looking after. “Harry is very important to Pic D’Orhy, probably more so than the other way round with Bravemansgame. Sometimes when you’ve got big meetings on a Saturday you have to make tough decisions that are right for everybody.” Nicholls rejected the suggestion that Cobden would not resume his partnership with last year’s King George winner, adding: “There’s no question about that, of course he would! “Harry’s the stable jockey but he can’t be in two places on the same day. Of course he’ll ride him again.” Bravemansgame is one of six confirmations for the first Grade One of the UK season. Nicky Henderson had spoken all summer of targeting Shishkin at the race, with the King George VI Chase his main aim in the first half of the season, although he now also has the 1965 Chase at Ascot as an alternative option. Last year’s winner Protektorat has had the race as his big target and will attempt to join the likes of Kauto Star and Cue Card as a multiple Betfair Chase winner. Grand National hero Corach Rambler has been left in by Lucinda Russell but he will need to take a huge step forward from his seasonal reappearance at Kelso. Royale Pagaille (Venetia Williams) and Minella Drama (Donald McCain) may also run.
Follow us on Twitter racing365dotcom and like our Facebook page.
On This Day in 2021 – Gordon Elliott apologises for posing with dead horse
The distasteful image was shared on social media and quickly confirmed as genuine by trainer Elliott.
I Am Maximus has taken Fairyhouse exertions in his stride
National joint-favourite ‘has his own way of getting round’.
British and Irish authorities announce anti-doping initiative
Increased collaboration between regulators seen as ‘positive step forward’.
The Gatekeeper knocking on the door for Lincoln honours
Big Doncaster handicap on the agenda for Champions Day winner.
Rising Cheltenham hopes for Constitution Hill knocked by blood test results
‘The figures themselves suggest he is definitely under the weather’.
Eydon camp turn attentions to turf campaign
Winter Derby all-weather comeback did not go according to plan.
Constitution Hill ‘bright’ on Thursday, but Cheltenham remains in the balance
Superstar hurdler will be scoped again on Friday.
‘Horses for courses’ – Gilligan hoping Buddy can make his mark at the Festival
Athenry-based trainer ‘can’t wait’ for Stayers’ Hurdle date, with his son in the saddle.
Williams taking watching brief on Festival run for Libberty Hunter
Ground will be key in the Cotswolds for leading Grand Annual fancy.
O’Neill team backing Crebilly to be a Plate smasher
Novice looks potentially well treated on a mark of 140.