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IT’S great to be back at Cheltenham this weekend. The season is starting to hit top gear and I can’t wait to get going.
It’s a course that’s been good to me over the years from Coneygree’s Gold Cup win and the Champion Chase victory on Sprinter Sacre to last season’s Festival when I won on Altior and Might Bite.
My guv’nor Nicky Henderson has been quiet for the past month – they’re all just waiting to come out.
From now on it’s going to get very busy for us. There’s some nice horses bubbling under at the moment – I’m sure they’ll be out in the next couple of weeks – and we’ve got a good army of novice chasers of novice chasers.
I’m just desperate to get going. We’re doing a lot of riding out to make sure they’re all in the best possible shape.
You see everyone else riding winners and I’m gagging to get out on the track on some good horses.
Luckily I’ve got plenty of them to look forward to.
Altior has been brilliant. He’s unbeaten over hurdles and fences and I’m hoping he can go all the way.
From what he showed last season when he won the Arkle and the end-of-season Celebration Chase at Sandown you’d like to think it was definitely possible.
Reuters Nico de Boinville had big wins on Altior last season
For him to come along so soon after Sprinter Sacre is incredible.
Don’t get me wrong – I know how lucky I am. I’ve been very fortunate to have such good horses come in quick succession.
Sprinter is a horse very close to my heart and the public really loved him.
He arrived at Seven Barrows when I arrived. I used to ride him every day and that was just the luck of the draw I got given him to ride. To then ride him on the track was incredible.
The thing was, because he had had time off with his fibrillating heart, there was actually no expectation. Everything he did was a bonus.
The guv’nor managed to bring him back to his best but there was no pressure.
PA:Press Association Sprinter Sacre put Nico de Boinville into the limelight
When he won the Schloer Chase at Cheltenham’s November meeting it was really special. The whole place was packed when he came back in – it made for an incredible day.
The year before I’d won the Gold Cup on Coneygree – it’s quite surreal to think I was still a conditional in name although I’d ridden out my claim.
Originally the partnership with Mark and Sara Bradstock came when they wanted to claim off Carruthers.
They said I could ride Coneygree the following season and he was faultless. To win the Gold Cup as a 25-year-old is a day you dream of.
He goes for the Charlie Hall Chase next week. The Bradstocks did wonders with him to get him back to run so well at Punchestown.
Getty Images Nico de Boinville and Coneygree
He’s goes to Wetherby without a penalty so fingers crossed it all goes well. He’s a really special horse to me and he seems in very good order.
Might Bite is another I’m particularly looking forward to.
I schooled him yesterday. He did a fabulous bit of work the other day and he’s showing a bit of pace. You could almost drop him back to 2m4f and he’d be almost as good.
He gave me a great day when winning the RSA Chase last season. He nearly threw it all away on the run-in and I half thought all was lost.
It just shows how easily he was doing it all. He’s gone from all out to nothing – almost pulling himself up – to then flying flat out again. It was a very good performance.
He’s some horse and hopefully we can iron out those quirks.
I’m not sure where we’re starting out with him but the King George is the main priority.
It all seems a long time ago I was at Newcastle University – for six weeks.
I’d done my A-levels and then spent six months working for Richard Gibson. He gave me my first rides as an amateur and after that it was all I ever wanted to do.
My brothers and sisters all work in London in the city but I think I’d have probably got bored of that.
We grew up just outside Newbury so we were in the heart of racing country. It’s been great so far and hopefully it will be another good season.