Harry Derham shares his thoughts on his first ever Cheltenham Festival runners.

All Sport are delighted to be supporting Harry Derham in his first season training. Harry was granted his trainers licence at Christmas last year and whilst he awaits completion of his new state of the art yard near Boxford, Newbury, he is temporarily based at Frenchmans House, Upper Lambourn. 

Harry enjoyed the perfect start to life as a racehorse trainer when his first ever runner Seelotmorebusiness won at Huntingdon on Boxing Day and he has continued the great start sending out 7 winners from his first 30 runners. 

Harry rode a festival winner as a young jockey in 2013 and on Tuesday he’s set to have his first ever Cheltenham Festival runner as a trainer when he saddles Shared in The Boodles Juvenile Handicap. Later in the week he also runs Bob and Co in The Hunters Chase. We caught up with Harry ahead of the Festival to get his thoughts on his runners.

“It’s obviously incredibly exciting to have my first runners at the Cheltenham Festival this year. Having only had my first runner on the 26th December I didn’t anticipate having horses good enough to go to Cheltenham this year, but with Shared and Bob and Co I’m really looking forward to it.”

“I bought Shared at Tattersalls in November. His form was ordinary on the flat but I thought he was big enough to jump hurdles and there was something I just really liked about him at the sales, so we picked him up quite cheaply. Not in my wildest dreams did I think he’d take to hurdling like he has, winning at Wetherby and Doncaster. Any four year old that wins on debut in that type of style you’re always sort of dreaming of the Juvenile Handicap so to get there is very exciting. He would like top of the ground, I wouldn’t like to see too much rain for him because that would spoil his chance but he’s a quick jumper, he’s had plenty of racing so a big field won’t bother him too much and if he puts it all together he’d have a small each way chance. He’s got a nice racing weight and I think the race will be run to suit him. They’ll go hard and it’ll be about staying on up the hill which I anticipate he will do well. I don’t know that he’ll be good enough to win but he’s the type of hardy little horse who could go and run nicely.”

“On Friday we run Bob and Co in The Hunters Chase. He’s been a fantastic horse for his owner David Maxwell, and is a previous winner of the Punchestown Festival Hunters Chase. He only joined me in January from Louisa Carberry in France and since then I’ve trained him for this race. Unfortunately, due to injury David Maxwell is not going to be riding him this year but very sportingly is going to let me run him anyway. Jamie Codd will take the ride, who’s obviously a very capable Amateur rider and it’s great to get him on board. Bob’s 12 now and he doesn’t have the best record around Cheltenham However I believe he can still run a big race. He stays very well and he’s going there fresh, which is an advantage because his record when fresh is pretty good. If he can put in a decent round of jumping, then in a race where it often pays to stay very well, I’d like to think he’ll be there or thereabouts come the end.”

From everyone at All Sport we wish Harry the very best of luck. We’re all behind you!