HARRY COBDEN believes he’s on the right horse as he looks to land big race glory in the Ladbrokes Trophy.
The 19-year-old partners Colin Tizzard’s Elegant Escape who has had the race lined up as his long-term aim.
The six-year-old is sitting pretty at the top of the betting after seeing off Thomas Patrick on his seasonal reappearance.
Cobden was only watching that day, but is relishing the chance to get back on board the horse he’s already partnered in major races at Cheltenham and Aintree.
Cobden said: “I wouldn’t be getting off Elegant Escape for anything.
“He’s run in big competitive races on the biggest days and he’s proven that he’s good enough. He’s the horse to ride in my eyes.”
“I’m really looking forward to him. He won nicely the last time at Sandown and has won at Newbury before.
“We know the track will suit and the ground shouldn’t be an issue. It’s a big ride on a huge day at Newbury.”
Cobden, sitting 11th in the Stobart Jump Jockeys Championship, rode Elegant Escape in the Aintree’s Grade 1 Mildmay Novices’ at the end of last season.
He finished third behind Terrefort and Ms Parfois, but Cobden is confident he can switch positions with Anthony Honeyball’s mare on Saturday.
He continued: “I can flip the form around with Ms Parfois. She’s obviously a very good mare in her own right but mine has proven he’s good enough for these big races.
“Colin Tizzard’s are in great form and he knows what it takes to win a Hennessy. They’ve always said he’d be a horse for this race. I think he’s a worthy favourite.”
Cobden, with 38 wins to his name this season, suffered a fractured neck injury in June and took the summer off to recover and get back to full fitness.
He’s quickly announced himself on the Jumps scene to stay and was named as stable jockey to powerhouse trainer Paul Nicholls after Sam Twiston-Davies went freelance.
He said calmly: “It’s a nice position to be in and lots of other jockeys would love to be in that position. It’s a privilege, there’s plenty of nice horses to ride.
“It’s amazing to have people like Mr Nicholls and Mr Tizzard backing me.
“Mr Nicholls has got loads of exciting horses coming through. One I’ve rode recently was Danny Kirwan, I know he got beat but he’ll come on a lot for the race and he’ll be a very smart novice hurdler.
“We’ve got a lot of young bumper horses that are coming through as well.
“It’s not all about now for them, they’ll make up into nice novice hurdlers and chasers. Eason and McFabulous, they’ll be lovely horses for next year.”
It’ll be the Tizzards, not Ditcheat, patting Cobden on the back this Saturday if he brings home Elegant Escape to land the £250,000 pot.
Whether it’s this weekend Cobden hits the headlines, or further along in the season, it’s safe to say he’ll be a name around for a long time.