Reigning Irish point-to-point champion jockey Jamie Codd will make his first visit to Bangor this afternoon to ride the Rebecca Curtis-trained Teaforthree in the concluding Hunters Chase at 4.50.
The 2013 Aintree Grand National third, who also eighth in last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, is be a classy recruit to the Hunters Chase division, but is in a race against time to qualify for the Foxhunters Chase on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival after missing an intended engagement at Warwick last month. To qualify for the Cheltenham contest the 11-year-old must finish first or second in two Hunters Chases before the end of this month.
Looking ahead to the trip today, Codd told The Herald: “Rebecca rang me last month and asked me would I go over to ride Teaforthree in Warwick but unfortunately he met with a little setback the day before the race and didn’t run. He’s obviously a classy horse as he ran in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham and in the last two Grand Nationals at Aintee, so it will be a pleasure to go over and ride him and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I suppose it has been a frustrating week weather wise, both here and over in England, but thankfully Bango r looks okay and hopefully the horse will do what needs to be done to get qualified for Cheltenham.”
Teaforthree was the early morning second favourite for the race behind the Paul Nicholls-trained Pacha Du Polder but it’s a race that has many subplots as it also features trainer Henrietta Knight’s first runner on the track since she announced her retirement in 2012.
Since then, Knight has teamed up with trainer Mick Channon to assist him with his jumping string but Calgary Bay will be the first runner in her name in that time as the 12-year-old runs on the track for the first time since the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.
Another notable name on the racecard will be that of Zara Phillips who trains Act Of Kalanisi in the same race.
The granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth recently took over the training of the nine-year-old, but had previously been credited with working on the jumping of Welsh Grand National winner Monbeg Dude, who is owned by her husband Mike Tindall.