Robin Oakley

The turf: View from the saddle

Former champion jockey Bob Davies once walked into the paddock and asked the trainer of the horse he was about to ride over three miles and 24 stiff fences, ‘Does he jump?’ Back came the reply: ‘That’s what you’re here to find out.’ ‘When they say that to you,’ Mick Fitzgerald told me on Sunday, ‘then you know you are in trouble.’ We were talking at a Cheltenham Literary Festival lunch to promote his new book, The Cheltenham World of Jump Racing (Racing Post, £25), and with the jump season proper starting at Cheltenham this weekend there could not have been a better time to hear the views of a man who rode that undulating course as well as anyone has ever done.

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