Friday 26 April 2019

Codd has high hopes

Jockey aiming to build on seven Cheltenham winners

Jamie Codd will be hoping he gets a chance to fly the flag in Cheltenham once again this week
Jamie Codd will be hoping he gets a chance to fly the flag in Cheltenham once again this week

Dave Devereux

All eyes will be on Cheltenham this week, with Wexford connections harbouring high hopes of garnering further success at the famous track in the heart of the Cotswolds.

One jockey who is no stranger to the winners' enclosure at Prestbury Park is all-conquering amateur Jamie Codd, and the Mayglass native, who already has a magnificent seven Festival winners to his name, looks to have a great opportunity to add to his impressive haul this week.

Last year Codd enjoyed a wonderful Cheltenham Wednesday as he partnered Fayonagh and Cause of Causes to victory on a memorable afternoon for the Model county man, with the ride he gave the former to land the Champion Bumper rightly lauded as one of the highlights of the Festival.

He teamed up with top trainer Gordon Elliott for last year's successes and he again has a strong book of rides for the Meath handler this time around.

Codd has been booked for Elliott's highly-fancied Jury Duty in the four-mile National Hunt Chase on the opening day of the Festival, a race which he was successful in three years ago aboard Cause of Causes.

Cause of Causes really comes to life around the Cheltenham track and Codd will be hoping to steer him to a remarkable fourth consecutive success at the Festival when he lines up in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase on Wednesday, having enjoyed a nine-length victory in the same race twelve months ago, before going on to finish second in the Aintree Grand National.

Codd has a great record in the Kim Muir Chase, having won it four times, and he will be aiming to add to that tally aboard the J.P. McManus-owned Squouateur on Thursday.

Codd has yet to ride the winner of the St. James Place Foxhunter Chase, but he will fancy his chances of adding that race to his list of achievements on Friday, as he rides current favourite Burning Ambition for fellow Wexford man Pierce Power, from The Hook.

Davidstown native Daryl Jacob also looks to have a decent chance of adding to his two Cheltenham Festival winners during the four-day racing bonanza, as he teams up with powerful owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.

Jacob hit the crossbar last year, riding three seconds and two thirds.

And although two of his big hopes, Top Notch, who he finished in the runner-up spot on twelve months ago, and leading Arkle contender Sceau Royal, have been withdrawn from their respective contests, he still has plenty of mounts to go to war with.

Jacob partners We Have A Dream in the JCB Triumph Hurdle for trainer Nicky Henderson on Friday, while as stable jockey for Ben Pauling, he is also looking forward to a number of decent rides, which include Gowiththeflow.

Meanwhile, Caim jockey J.J. Slevin will be aiming to add to his maiden Cheltenham Festival win, which he achieved last year when steering the Gordon Elliott-trained Champagne Classic to victory in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.

Crossabeg trainer Liz Doyle will be hoping for better luck this time around as Last Goodbye goes for glory in the Grade 3 Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate on Thursday after a fifth-place finish in the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase last year.

The gelding ran out an impressive winner of the €100,000 Channelle Pharma Handicap Chase at Leopardstown in his last outing and is primed for a return trip to Prestbury Park.

The seven-year-old met trouble in running twelve months ago, before finishing fifth to Tully East, and after winning at the Dublin Racing Festival, Last Goodbye will go into the two-mile five-furlong contest with a realistic chance of success.

Enniscorthy Guardian