Jefferson’s duo set for Ascot showdown

Malcolm Jefferson with top class chaser Cloudy Dream.
Malcolm Jefferson with top class chaser Cloudy Dream.
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MALCOLM Jefferson’s stablemates Waiting Patiently and Cloudy Dream could both clash in next month’s Grade One Ascot Chase at the Berkshire track.

They are in contention for a high-class renewal of this two mile five furlong race that could also feature the ever popular Cue Card, the 2017 winner.

He’s had a break and he’s freshened up. He’s really well in himself, we’re really pleased with him. There’s the Denman Chase (at Newbury) and the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase (at Kelso) as well we might think of giving him entries in.

Ruth Jefferson

Waiting Patiently is unbeaten from five starts over fences following an eyecatching Listed success at Kempton under Brian Hughes.

He is a leading contender for the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival – soft ground permitting – and Jefferson’s daughter and assistant, Ruth, said: “He’s come out of his Kempton race really well. We’ll probably look at the Ascot Chase next.”

The Malton yard continue to hold Cloudy Dream in the highest regard. The ultra-consistent grey has not yet finished outside the first two after 10 starts over fences and was last seen chasing home Brian Ellison’s Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Definitly Red at Aintree last month.

Jefferson added: “He’s fine. He might go to Ascot for that race as well. It’s nice to have two horses at that level. It’s just a bit of shame they both want the same trip.

“He’s had a break and he’s freshened up. He’s really well in himself, we’re really pleased with him. There’s the Denman Chase (at Newbury) and the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase (at Kelso) as well we might think of giving him entries in.”

Meanwhile, Joe Tizzard believes Native River, last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup third, could be the forgotten horse for this year’s renewal.

Though the horse has not raced this season, the aforementioned Denman Chase next month is an intended comeback race. Tizzard, assistant to his father Colin, said “He looks a million dollars and we are just trying to get everything right for him.

“If he puts up a monster display at Newbury or something like he did in the Gold Cup last year, he will soon be remembered.”

Sue Smith’s fine form continued when De Vous A Moi won yesterday’s feature handicap chase at Newcastle under jockey Danny Cook.

It was the ultra-game horse’s sixth win, the Bingley stable’s fourth victory in four days – a run of success that began with Wakanda’s Sky Bet Chase success at Doncaster last Saturday.

Disruption when the Tour de Yorkshire passes through Thirsk on May 5 means the race meeting on the same day will transfer to Wetherby. Wetherby’s Flat meeting on May 8 will move to Thirsk.

A new study has found the performance of female jockeys is equal to that of their male counterparts. The research analysed data from a 14-year period and suggests females are just as good as male jockeys once the quality of the horses they are riding is factored in.

Vanessa Cashmore, a learning manager at Doncaster’s Northern Racing College, undertook the research. She said: “I hope it helps to provide more opportunities for female jockeys, and also encourages more women to further their careers as race riders.”