William Hill Champion Chase kicking off the Punchestown Festival on Tuesday. William Hill ambassador Sam Twiston-Davies previews his ride in Wednesday’s Punchestown Gold Cup on Clan Des Obeaux.

Clan Des Obeaux

I’m very pleased to be asked to step in and ride Clan Des Obeaux while Harry [Cobden] is out on the sidelines. He felt brilliant in the early part of the season when I rode him at Haydock, finishing second on heavy ground, but then things didn’t quite work out for us in the King George at Kempton.

It was a funny race, we didn’t get a very smooth run around and he made a couple of mistakes down the back, but there’s no hiding what he did at Aintree last time out – he was very impressive. He jumped nicely, got himself into a good rhythm and if he’s able to do that on Wednesday then we should be in for a massive run.

He’s at a nice age as a nine-year-old, physically and mentally he looks the complete package, and he should be right near his peak now. Punchestown is a beautiful, right-handed track that should suit him well, though he’s just as good going the other way round.

I’ve only ridden the track a handful of times and will always remember winning Hunters Chase there back in 2009 on Baby Run. This is obviously a bit of a different task to that, but I’ll have a good walk of the track, get all the information I can and make sure we’re fully prepared for whatever it throws at us.

He’s a very classy horse that still manages to get through the heavy ground, but it doesn’t see him at his best, so the expected good, good to soft ground will be ideal for him. Minella Indo and Al Boum Photo are Gold Cup winners that deserve their place at the head of the market, but at the same time, Clan Des Obeaux took the field apart by 26 lengths at Aintree and has to be respected.

I’m very lucky and appreciative to have played a part in his career so far and hopefully we can have another good day on Wednesday.

Congrats to Harry Skelton

Lastly, I just wanted to say congratulations to Harry Skelton for winning the Championship. He’s a great bloke, a great jockey and he’s worked incredibly hard for this.

It’s been exciting to watch the battle that he and Brian have had over the last few weeks, and I’ve got great respect for them both. We’re very lucky to have people like them at the head of our sport.

I’ve been lucky enough to ride over 80 winners this season, and though we’ve been down a little bit on quality it’s been a good, busy campaign.

As ever we’re hoping to buy a few nice ones over the summer and build ourselves up to get right to the very top in the near future.

Check out all the latest horse racing betting odds at William Hill