Brendan Powell: The Road to success?
Our man Brendan Powell rides Jumps Road in the Betfair Hurdle, but the horse he fears most isn't one of the favourites.
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It's been a bit hard to get going of late with the weather making things difficult, not only with meetings being called off but just getting around the country. Looking at the forecast there seems likely to be no let-up for the coming week or so... oh well!
I'm still looking for my first winner in February, but in my defence I've only had five rides. Rhythm Star was my last success at the end of January for Jamie Snowden and despite the yard having a few reservations about the ground with her she couldn't have handled it any better and really impressed me.
She had some fair-looking sorts in behind that day, including one of Colin Tizzards (Ivor's Queen), so she looks a nice prospect for Jamie and the team, especially once she goes hurdling.
Grand Vision was another horse I've ridden recently, and although he was beaten around 19 lengths into third in the Welsh Champion Hurdle I was very pleased with the run.
That was only his third run of the season and I'm sure once he's stepped back up in trip then he'll be even better. A strongly-run three-mile race will suit him perfectly and he's also qualified for the Pertemps Hurdle Final at the Festival - he was a close third in the Albert Bartlett two years ago behind Brindisi Breeze and Boston Bob, so we know he's capable of a big run at the Festival.
Looking ahead to this weekend I'll be hoping to be at Newbury on Saturday, but it's hard to pin down firm plans with the weather so up and down.
Jumps Road, for the Tizzards, runs in the Betfair Hurdle. Off a light weight and on suitable ground then he's not without a squeak after an excellent third last time at Haydock.
The other horse I like in that race is John Quinn's Recession Proof. I was on him last time when he fell, but he was still going well at the time and I certainly think he'd have been in the first three had he not hit the deck. He could be off a good mark, especially with Jake Greenall's 3lb claim off too.
Away from racing there is not much to report apart from - I've been house-sitting for the last week for Joe Tizzard, who has been skiing. His two dogs have kept me busy, but luckily I didn't have any intruders to deal with in the middle of the night!
Have a good week,
Follow Brendan on Twitter @brendanp1995