Image source: Coolmore.com
Champion jockey Brian Hughes exclusively looks ahead to Ribble Valley’s run in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday.
VBET’s ambassador is reunited with Nicky Richards’ seven-year-old before his date with destiny in the big Grade One over two miles.
Ribble Valley – sporting the black-and-white silks of legendary grey Monet’s Garden – looked the real deal with a superb performance at Carlisle last month following a 307-day absence.
Hughes’ mount is currently a 9/1 chance with VBET in hot race which includes champion hurdler Epatante, Sceau Royal and last year’s winner Cornerstone Lad.
— Carlisle Racecourse (@CarlisleRaces) October 22, 2020
“We think he’s a very good horse. He won two out of three bumpers and then improved as a novice hurdler.
“He was unfurnished as a novice, but then won at Hexham and Wetherby before going to Ascot for the Kennel Gate.
“He was a wee bit immature there and I think he got a bit upset travelling to the racecourse – he just got beat by a better horse on the day.
“He then had a bit of a break and has since, I think, had a wind op. Since then he’s been more mature.
Nice prospect – last seen in Listed company at Cheltenham, Ribble Valley scoots away to defy the penalty and make it two from three in bumpers in fine style for Nicky Richards and Brian Hughes.
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) January 8, 2019
“It was a nice comeback at Carlisle, and I kept him going to get every ounce of him out of the race. Our horse is unexposed, but he has to improve to step into the big league.
“This is obviously a step into the unknown and we’re taking on the Champion Hurdle winner, a really good horse in Sceau Royal, Evan Williams’ horse (Silver Streak) and last year’s winner.
“He’s in good shape and I’m really looking forward to riding him again. I schooled him last weekend and he was really good.”
“We always felt he’d be a better horse on a bit of nicer ground, but I always thought he was going to mature this year and that he’d be a stronger horse.”
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