Amateur jockey David Maxwell believes Cat Tiger is ‘tailor-made’ for the famous Grand National fences at Aintree when he tackles them for the first time in the Rose Paterson Randox Foxhunters’ Chase.
The Paul Nicholls-trained seven year old is one of 34 entries received for the 2m 5f contest, which is being run in memory of the former Aintree Racecourse Chairman on the opening day of this year’s Randox Grand National Festival on April 8th.
Cat Tiger made a triumphant return to action at Leicester under Harry Cobden earlier this month and Maxwell is confident that the dual Grade Three scorer can claim a third victory at that level by making his debut over the Grand National fences a winning one.
Maxwell was forced to miss out on rides at The Festival™ supporting WellChild at Cheltenham last week due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions preventing amateur jockeys from taking part.
However, those restrictions will be lifted in time for Aintree and Maxwell said: “It is exciting to think about being back at Aintree but you just have to keep everything in perspective.
“I always come back to the same point in this pandemic - we’ve all had to stop doing something that we like doing and have had to go without things. However, people have lost jobs during the pandemic and thousands of people have died, so there have been far worse things over the past 12 months than having to wait a while longer to ride.
“Cat Tiger is a very nice horse that jumps well. He will love the track and 2m 5f is perfect for him. It’s tailor-made for him. This race has always been the plan.
“I won the Grade Three on him at Auteuil, when I fell off on him on the way down to the start, and he was a pretty good novice hurdler over here where he did nothing wrong.
“I think we will probably give him a school over the National-style fences at David Pipe’s before the race. As ever in these races you need a bit of luck, but he is pretty useful.”
Unlike their professional counterparts, amateur jockeys have not been allowed to ride in races since January 14th. However, they will be eligible to return to the saddle on Monday (March 29th), where Maxwell hopes to be in action at Fontwell.
He added: “I’ve been down to see Philip Hobbs and Paul Nicholls a few times to ride out and I plan on going down to Philip’s this week to school a few as well, but it is hard to fit it all in with two children to look after as well.
“I should be riding at Fontwell on Monday aboard one I’ve got at Philip Hobbs’ called Tres Francais. He came over to Britain at the start of the season but he has not raced yet as there was not much point getting him out until I could ride him.”
Having broken his neck on his last ride, aboard the Hobbs-trained Zizaneur at Wetherby in October, the 42 year old, reports himself to be in good shape ahead of his comeback.
Maxwell, who partnered a personal best total of 18 winners under rules last season, added: “The last time I rode was on October 14 when I broke my neck on my second ride back. I’ve had two rides in a full 12 months. It was a bit frustrating as I had just been signed off with the all clear the day after the amateur riders got banned.
“The neck is totally fine now and to be honest the extra time off has probably done me no harm as I’ve not been rattling it around so much by racing.
“I’ve been in the park every day doing my one-on-one with a personal trainer squatting it out in front of the Houses Of Parliament, but the only thing that can really get you ready for race riding is doing it. I’m just looking forward to getting back in the saddle now.”
A total of 34 entries were received today for the Rose Paterson Randox Foxhunters’ Chase. A full list of entries can be found below.
The Rose Paterson Randox Foxhunters’ Chase
- Billaway (IRE) 9 12 0 Mr J. Turner W. P. Mullins
- Bishops Road (IRE) 13 12 0 Six Star Racing D. E. Hewins
- Bob And Co (FR) 10 12 0 David Maxwell Racing Limited Paul Nicholls
- Caid du Berlais (FR) 12 12 0 Donlon, Doyle, MacDonald & C. Barber S. Loxton
- Captain Cattistock (GB) 8 12 0 Mrs Jane Tufnell Fergal O'Brien
- Cat Tiger (FR) 7 12 0 David Maxwell Racing Limited Paul Nicholls
- Clondaw Westie (IRE) 10 12 0 For Fun Partnership Lawney Hill
- Cousin Pascal (FR) 9 12 0 Mr P. A. Clifton J. J. O'Shea
- Dark Mahler (IRE) 10 12 0 Mr C. Helfferich Mrs Freya Brewer
- Dashing Perk (GB) 10 12 0 Mr Paul Jenkins Dr Richard Newland
- Dylrow (IRE) 11 12 0 R. Nicholas / Dr. W. S. Campbell D. M. Christie
- Federici (GB) 12 12 0 Mrs C Strang Steel and Partner Donald McCain
- Golden Tobouggan (GB) 10 12 0 Mrs Julie Wadland Mrs Julie Wadland
- Greensalt (IRE) 13 12 0 Mrs S. J. Easterby W. H. Easterby
- Jury Duty (IRE) 10 12 0 Sideways Syndicate Mrs Denise Foster
- Kashmir Peak (IRE) 12 12 0 Mr Daniel Cherriman Alan Hill
- Killaro Boy (IRE) 12 12 0 H & H Partnership Henry Oliver
- Latenightpass (GB) 8 12 0 Mrs P. A. Ellis T. Ellis
- Looking Well (IRE) 12 12 0 Mr David Wesley Yates Nicky Richards
- Marcle Ridge (IRE) 9 12 0 Mr C. J. Bennett Mrs Lucy Smith
- Mighty Stowaway (IRE) 10 12 0 Philip J. Reynolds Mrs Denise Foster
- More Buck's (IRE) 11 12 0 Mr Mickey Bowen Mickey Bowen
- Pass The Hat (GB) 14 12 0 Ms S. K. Baharuddin Miss Sarah Rippon
- Popelys Gull (IRE) 9 12 0 Mr L. Humphrey L. Humphrey
- Ravished (IRE) 13 12 0 Mr A. Spender J. J. O'Shea
- Rewritetherules (IRE) 7 12 0 Mr D. F. O'Rourke John Joseph Hanlon
- Risk And Roll (FR) 7 12 0 Mr and Mrs Ben Herbert and Family Mrs N. Sheppard
- Road To Rome (IRE) 11 12 0 Mr Graham William Briscoe J. J. O'Shea
- Sametegal (FR) 12 12 0 Mr and Mrs J. D. Cotton Paul Nicholls
- Some Man (IRE) 8 12 0 R. Nicholas D. M. Christie
- Staker Wallace (IRE) 10 12 0 Mr John P. McManus Enda Bolger
- Tango de Juilley (FR) 13 12 0 Venetia Williams' Stable Staff Venetia Williams
- Ucello Conti (FR) 13 12 0 Mr A. R. Bromley Philip Rowley
- Winged Leader (IRE) 7 12 0 Miss Jennifer O'Kane/Samuel John Hegarty D. M. Christie
- Its All Guesswork (IRE) 9 Cullentra House Stable Staff Syndicate Mrs Denise Foster
- Just Cause (IRE) 11 Mr S. J. Stearn J. P. Owen