MRT Fans Poll – Ride of the Season 2017/18

Aintree Racecourse

After a season that gave us plenty of twists and turns, the dust is starting to settle after a magnificent 2017/18 National Hunt season. There have been some truly amazing rides this season, with jockeys displaying courage, patience and heart at a plethora of racecourses. Whether on the grand stages or simply those mid-week fixtures, we’ve selected four of what we believe to be the best rides of this campaign. Each has something brilliant to recommend it on, so we asked our followers which they thought was the 2017/18 Ride of the Season and the results are below!

1st – Robbie Power, Finian’s Oscar in the Manifesto Chase

A dual Grade 1 winning novice over hurdles, Finian’s Oscar was in a nice rhythm from an early stage of this contest before a very ungainly jump as they entered the back straight for the second time. That disrupted his flow and he would make three more errors down the back, needing to be vigorously shaken up by Robbie Power as they turned down the side. Three lengths detached as they moved into the straight, his chance looked to be over as several reminders didn’t have the desired effect. Power refused to give in and kept hustling and harrying his mount for more down the straight and he finally got a tune out of him between the final two fences, getting up late on. A power-packed ride full of grit and determination, it quite simply sums up Robbie Power.

(Credit to RacingUK)

2nd – Katie Walsh, Relegate in the Champion Bumper

When the tapes dropped for this big-field bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, Katie Walsh and Relegate only had two horses behind them. Keeping her cool throughout, Walsh kept her mount nicely settled but going down the back, they dropped to last and looked to be in some trouble. Niggling down the side of the course, her mount started to make rapid headway and was building up a massive head of steam. Not looking the easiest of rides and drifting left handed, Walsh showed all her strength to pull her mount off heels to get up in the shadows of the post. Timed to absolute perfection, Walsh’s patience paid off in a massive way and with her retirement announced at Punchestown, she’ll be sorely missed.

(Credit to RacingUK)

3rd – Jack Kennedy Robin Des Mana at Clonmel

Leading narrowly from the outset, Robin Des Mana got into the roots of the fourth fence and Jack Kennedy was flung out of the saddle, left clinging to his mount. Somehow, Kennedy managed to get back into the plate after being left to hold onto his mount with one arm, facing backwards. The strength Kennedy showed was quite simply remarkable, getting his horse back to the front approaching the next fence and despite being joined and passed at two out, he regained the advantage and clung on late for a quite stunning victory. A recovery that has to be seen to be believed, the strength and courage Kennedy showed was beyond his years and he looks to be a Champion Jockey in the making.

(Credit to At The Races)

4th – Daryl Jacob, L’Ami Serge in the Aintree Hurdle

Anyone who follows National Hunt racing closely will know of L’Ami Serge, perhaps one of the most frustrating horses in training. Clearly with a huge amount of ability, he can always be found tanking his way through his races, but whether he goes through with his effort is a big question mark. Sat off a furious pace in this Grade 1 contest, Daryl Jacob had his mount nicely settled in the rear from the outset but turning for home, he still had plenty of ground to make up. Nursing his chance into the contest between the final two, he jumped alongside the eventual second at the last and cajoled L’Ami Serge into a commanding three-length victory at the line. Given how his mount can shy away from a battle, Jacob produced him at the perfect time and it was quite simply a brilliant piece of horsemanship.

(Credit to RacingUK)

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Image © Racing Post/Grossick Racing Photography

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