Nigel Twiston-Davies Interview

On The Buses – A Morning at the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard

And so a pretty busy week winds down to something resembling peace and quiet, but not until after one last stable visit to put all my ducks in a row before Cheltenham – or leave me even more confused, of course?

Now I know of other writers who find Nigel difficult to fathom, but I personally see him as great company – a dry sense of humour perhaps, and you need to know when he is ribbing you and when he isn’t, but all in all one of the nicest trainers you are ever likely to get to meet in this game.  His record speaks for itself – fifteen winners at the notoriously competitive Cheltenham Festival inclusion a Gold Cup with Imperial Commander, which when added to his two Grand National victories, puts him in a pretty exclusive club.

Despite winners sine 1992, the yard drew a rare blank last year and will be back looking to make sure that doesn’t happen again in 2015, with The New One their obvious stand-out contender in the Champion Hurdle and common sense suggests we start there. Third in the race last year after being badly hampered early in the race, some feel he was the moral victor that day but no trophies come with that and this year he gets the chance to put the record straight. He looked in rude health to me and his trainer is certainly very happy with his progress this season, explaining his below par (but winning) run at Haydock last time out when struggling on the desperate ground, but on better going should be a different beast and one to consider. His trainer freely admitted he has beaten very little in his four wins this season but reminded us that the same remark applies to favourite Faugheen and that Hurricane Fly has the best actual form this season – muddying the waters even further. All in all, Nigel did question why they weren’t joint favourites, which at least suggests the 3/1 available could be value, and he does seem especially pleased with how he is, suggesting they will try to track the jolly before using his finishing burst to win the race late on.

Naturally, in a yard this size he will not be travelling alone to Prestbury Park, and after deciphering his words I have concluded that there are two others in with serious each way chances at big prices that I intend to back. Benbens (25/1 NRNB with Betfair) is the first as the ten year old heads off to the Kim Muir Chase on the Thursday. Described as in great form at home and a “very live hope” by his handler, he must know something the rest of us don’t as on the form book, I could not have him I am sorry to say – but then that is why he is a 25/1 shot and Nigel trains horses – and I don’t.

Those still reading by now could be the ones to strike gold as Little Jon is last on my little list – and perhaps the best value of them all. Nigel described him as his “best bet” which has to be encouraging, and if he runs in the Chaps Restaurant Barbados Novices’ Handicap Chase on the Tuesday then he will go with plenty of stable confidence behind him. His form in recent quality races makes him good enough for a run, and if his trainer thinks he is well in at the weights, then my money will follow his opinions.

Nigel Twiston-Davies Bus

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ bus!

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