It has been another memorable jumps season, with highlights such as Sam Spinner’s win in the JLT Long Walk Hurdle and Un De Sceaux’s historic third win in the Royal Salute Whisky Clarence House Chase amongst the undoubted highlights.
Both ran with great credit at the Cheltenham Festival last week, with Un De Sceaux a particularly creditable second in his bid for back-to-back Ryanair Chase wins.
Perhaps the most exciting race of the jumps season here was last month’s Betfair Ascot Chase, where the resolute and hugely popular Cue Card was second only to the progressive Waiting Patiently in his bid for his own Ascot three-timer.
The winner himself missed Cheltenham but remains one of the most exciting prospects for the future, and may well appear at Aintree next month.
This has been a remarkable jumps season for female jockeys, capped by four individual riders being successful at the Festival. Amongst them was Bridget Andrews, who won the Coral Cup on Mohaayed, providing her with a first Festival victory.
Bridget rides Sir Mangan in the Iron Stand Conditional (trainee...) Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle with us on Sunday where she will be looking for a first Ascot win to cap a memorable month.
Also in action on Sunday is the riding sensation of the season - male or female - in Bryony Frost. With 31 winners already in 2017/18, including victory in the Sodexo Reynoldstown Chase on Black Corton, Bryony will be hopeful of another Ascot winner with the classy top weight, Diego Du Charmil, in the Ascot Spring Garden Show Novices’ Handicap Chase, the main event of the day.
Although beaten 22 lengths by Saint Calvados in the Kingmaker at Warwick, that was a Grade Two and the six-year-old will be well fancied to resume winning ways.
Also of note today is Loose Chips’ bid to win the GrandNational.fans Veterans' Chase on the card for the second time. These races, restricted to 10-year-olds and upwards have become very popular and always attract familiar and popular names.