Bryony Frost: I got stick for falling off Yala Enki in the Virtual Grand National but can change that at Cheltenham11/13/2020
THERE’s never a shortage of banter in racing — but getting stick for falling off a horse you weren’t actually riding must be a first.
Well that’s what happened to me when they ran the Virtual Grand National in April and I was “on” Yala Enki.
We all tuned in for what was certainly a unique and fun occasion. And it was going well enough… until the commentator said I’d been unseated. I knew what was coming straight away.
Sure enough I got plenty of stick, although, on the good side, at least I wasn’t rolling around avoiding other horses!
I mention it because I’m on Yala Enki again at Cheltenham tomorrow (1.50) and hoping that virtual race wasn’t an omen.
I’ll be keeping my heels well down and any superglue would be much appreciated!
On a serious note, Yala Enki is in brilliant health at Ditcheat and I’m buzzing to get back out on the track with him.
The forecast rain will be very welcome because he has stamina levels in abundance — he’s not very big but he’s as brave as they come and loves to get his head down and gallop.
He gave me a great race when we were third in the Welsh National and, who knows, maybe this time we’ll get to have a crack at Aintree for real.
Horses may not speak, but they have very strong feelings and communicate in so many ways.
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They know their routines, and when they’re not ridden out, or have breakfast a bit earlier and get their travel gear on, they know they’re going out for the day.
Yala Enki adores his racing and loves to get competing — he’ll know it’s a race day when the travel kit comes out.
As for Saturday, I’m off to Uttoxeter to ride Remember The Man (12.57) for Neil King, Head To The Stars (2.07) for Henry Daly and Legends Gold (2.42) for Rebecca Curtis.
Remember The Man has only the one win to his name but he was an encouraging second at this track at the end of last month. He runs off the same handicap mark and hopefully can improve again for us.
Head To The Stars is a fantastic one to pick up for the Daly team. He has not run since February but that last outing was a nice win at Ludlow. He returns on a fair handicap mark and I’m looking forward to riding him for the first time.
Legends Gold was never off the bridle when winning a novice chase for mares at Ffos Las last time out.
She goes on any ground and is another great ride to pick up for a talented team.
There will be lots of tellys around at Uttoxeter so I’ll certainly catch up with the Cheltenham action.
All eyes will be on the Paddy Power and Saint Sonnet has lots of class and must go well.
Paul has had this as Plan A and, with the team on fire, we will have our fingers crossed for them.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see stablemate Brelan D’As in there at the business end either. He was only beaten a neck in this last year and loves the track.
Until next week, stay safe and keep kicking!
Bryony Frost was talking to PHIL THOMAS.
Her column is courtesy of the Jockey Club which runs several of the UK’s leading racecourses.
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