| 11.6°C Dublin

Hambro dreams of Gold with sole hope Dover's Hill

Mary Hambro is preparing to take on some of National Hunt racing's biggest stables with her only horse as Dover's Hill lines up in Saturday's Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.

The trainer's main concern is the potential absence of jockey Sam Twiston-Davies, who could be required to partner Viking Blond or Major Malarkey for his father Nigel, but has regularly ridden Dover's Hill at home as well as winning on him at the course in early March.

Twiston-Davies has been in the plate for four of the 10-year-old's five career victories.

"He's in awfully good form, really well at the moment," Hambro said.

"Sam Twiston-Davies has been schooling him twice a week, but I get the feeling he won't be able to ride him at the weekend and I'm in the middle of working out what I'll do."

Hambro, who is based at the Cotswold Stud near Moreton-in-Marsh, certainly lacks the equine resources of her Saturday opponents such as Paul Nicholls and Jonjo O'Neill as Dover's Hill has to complete his exercise routine alone.

"He doesn't see another horse from one race to the next, but he seems quite happy," she added.

"I only train one or two -- I had a mare called Rose Row who won four on the Flat, and I'm doing a little bit with another horse at the moment."

Dover's Hill was priced up by the race sponsors at 12-1, with Galaxy Rock, Major Malarkey and West End Rocker the 8-1 co-favourites among 25 confirmed entries.

"He's been a wonderful horse, he's very sweet, and I'm going there hopeful as I know he's well," Hambro said.

"Other than that, we're in the lap of the gods.

"I'd rather have a dry week as he wouldn't want it too soft, and it'll just be sad for me if Sam can't ride him."

West End Rocker is one of a number of horses who failed to complete the Grand National a fortnight ago but is set to be turned out again, along with Rare Bob, Vic Venturi, Viking Blond and Deep Purple.

O'Neill's Galaxy Rock would have an even shorter time-lapse as he was pulled up in last weekend's Scottish National.


Privacy