Take an in-form trainer to deliver again

  • From Spectator Life

There are a lot of extremely able jump trainers in Britain but only a handful are really adept at successfully preparing a horse for a big target, such as a race at the Cheltenham Festival or one of the season’s most valuable handicaps. These are typically the contests in which the leading Irish trainers also enter their best horses and so they are fiercely competitive.

Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson and Dan Skelton clearly all deserve a place on this ‘top target trainer’ list for winning so many top prizes, while the likes of Nigel Twiston-Davies, Venetia Williams and Jonjo O’Neill have also had more than their fair share of big-race success over the years.

However, there is one other handler who now unquestionably deserves the accolade of being a ‘top target trainer’ and that is Lambourn-based Jamie Snowden. Over the past 13 months, the genial Snowden has landed the Paddy Power Gold Cup with Ga Law, the Jack de Bromhead Mares Novices’ Hurdle with You Wear it Well and, as recently as last weekend, the Coral Gold Cup with Datsalrightgino.

I confidently predict that Snowden’s reputation as a leading training will continue to grow over the years ahead and I can see him landing some nice prizes for the rest of this season, given the strength of his string.

Indeed, I hope Snowden’s next big-race victory comes as soon as tomorrow when his charge COLONEL HARRY is just one of six runners to contest the Grade 1 Betfair Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown (1.50pm). Small-runner non-handicaps are not normally my ‘bag’, nor are odds of less than double figures, but I do think this six-year-old gelding has a huge chance of lifting the £45,000-plus prize for the winner.

Colonel Harry has a few pounds to find on official figures against some of his rivals but he is a course winner who will handles soft, even heavy, ground.

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