Matchbook Ambassador Bryony Frost gives the lowdown on her weekend rides from Sandown and Warwick.
It was nice to ride a few winners during the week.
Canyon City was class at Fakenham on Monday. He’s at his best when he’s going that way around. He ran a really good race at Kempton on his previous run to finish third behind Erick Le Rouge, and we were very hopeful going to Fakenham.
He was carrying top weight, but he was the best horse in the race, so he was entitled to carry top weight. It was nice the way he did it too, to pull him out like that and just get up on the line. It was a good performance.
It was nice to win too on Findusatgorcombe for Dad at Wincanton on Thursday. He’s a home-bred, so it was extra special for his owner Phill Meaden.
Findusatgorcombe struggled for consistency last year, but now he’s coming out and running the same race over and over again. He finished second at Wincanton in February and, back over the same course and distance, it was great for him to go one better.
I’m at Sandown on Saturday where I ride Our Merlin in the feature race, the Matchbook Imperial Cup. He is out of the handicap, but he has a nice low weight and that should suit him.
He has form with top weight Call Me Lord. He was only beaten by three lengths by him at Sandown in January last year, and we are a little bit better off at the weights with him. And we are better off at the weights with Monsieur Lecoq who beat us in the same race at Sandown this year. We’re an outsider, but we’re not out of it.
I have never ridden for Robert before, so I’m looking forward to it.
I ride The Knot Is Tied in the opening juvenile handicap hurdle. He did nothing wrong last time at Huntingdon, we were only just beaten by Caroline Bailey’s mare Dyliev, who won on Sunday back at Huntingdon.
His jumping has got better and he has become much more professional, so he should continue to improve. I think that Sandown will suit him, I think that the hill will suit him, and he will handle the ground. We should be right there with them turning in and, after that, hopefully he can keep on up to the line. He has a good chance.
I ride Farne in the mares’ bumper. She is a big impressive mare who should have a bright future.
I think that the track will suit her too and that she will handle the ground. She’s very tough. She should be going on after some of the others have cried enough. This is her first time to race right-handed too, and I think that will suit her. She will relish the challenge and I think that she could go well.
I’m at Warwick on Sunday for two rides, The Boss’s Dream in the long distance handicap chase and Nearly Perfect in the three-mile-two-furlong handicap hurdle.
The Boss’s Dream slogged it out in the mud at Lingfield a few weeks ago, then he finished a really decent second to Coopers Square at Uttoxeter last time. It has taken a bit of time, but he is building up his confidence over his fences now, and he is progressing.
He is up in the handicap again for his Uttoxeter run, but I think that he’ll enjoy Warwick now. He was well beaten in this race last year, but he is lower in the handicap now and he is in good form.
Nearly Perfect is a lovely big impressive horse. He ran a nice race at Southwell in December, but he was well beaten then at Exeter and again at Ascot. He was in danger of losing his way a bit, so it was really nice to see him run well at Exeter last time. It was nice to see him staying on and finishing off his race instead of weakening as he had been doing.
Hopefully, he can step up again now. He stays very well and Warwick should suit him, that lovely back straight where they can get galloping. He is a nice young horse, he is a chaser in the making, and I hope that he can run well.
While your regular host Tom Stanley is away, Donn McClean takes the hot seat and is joined by Rory Delargy and Matchbook’s Micheál Deasy to preview the Matchbook Imperial Cup.