With so many incredible races under way this weekend, jockeys are thin on the ground but luckily for Paul Nicholls, Noel Fehily was available to partner Michel Le Bon in the upcoming Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury. Despite the lack of fitness, Fehily is till confident that it will not be a problem for Michel Le Bon following a schooling session on Tuesday morning.
Stable jockey Ruby Walsh is on board long-term Hennessy favourite Aiteen Thirtythree and second rider Daryl Jacob heading to Newcastle to partner Celestial Halo in the stanjames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle.
Fehily is no stranger to riding for the champion trainer, most notably guiding Master Minded to victory in last season’s rearranged Tingle Creek at Cheltenham, and he is thrilled to have been given the call again.
This is the first outing for Michel Le Bon in two years as injury side-lined him since winning a Grade Two novice chase at Newbury two years ago, but Fehily feels the eight-year-old is ready to do himself justice.
He said: “I went and had a sit on him this morning and he jumped absolutely fantastic, so I’m really looking forward to it. It’s great to be riding good horses like him, that’s what it’s all about.
“Paul has had this race in mind for him for a while and has him well tuned. There are always things to worry about in a race like this, but fitness wouldn’t be one of them, that’s for sure.”