Jumps jockey Leighton Aspell (38) earned another well-deserved big win on board Oliver Sherwood’s Many Clouds to win the Hennessy Gold Cup Grade 3 Handicap over three miles two furlongs at Newbury on Saturday.
This rider, who turned his back on race riding six years ago to be assistant to Flat trainer John Dunlop, after no longer enjoying race riding, has certainly scaled the heights since he returned to the saddle.
Last season was his best ever in terms of winners and his returning enthusiasm for race riding culminated in his unforgettable win on board Pineau De Re to win the Crabbie’s Grand National.
He has been steadily clocking up wins this season and he earned another well-deserved big victory on board Oliver Sherwood’s Many Clouds to win the Hennessy Gold Cup Grade 3 Handicap over three miles two furlongs at Newbury on Saturday.
It was also a special moment for Oliver Sherwood, being his first win in the race since Arctic Call in 1990. And it was undoubtedly the brilliant ride given to the horse by the 38-year-old rider that was a major contributory factor, when the horse appeared to be struggling when turning from home.
The seven-year-old, which had never won previously beyond two-and-a-half miles, responded to his rider to go by Merry King and fended off a challenge from Venetia William’s Houblon Des Obeaux which was second at 50-1.
Leighton Aspell paid tribute to the team spirit in Oliver Sherwood’s yard, saying: “We all put a lot of work in and it is good to get the opportunity to ride these big winners. It has been a wonderful year. I was sitting on him for a long time and was conscious not to get to the front too soon as it was a new trip.”
Back in action today, he will be riding Oliver Sherwood’s grey Morning Reggie in a Limited Handicap Chase at Leicester and will be on local ground at Plumpton, tomorrow, Monday.
Tomorrow at Plumpton, he has been booked by trainer Lucy Wadham for two rides- on board Mistral Reine in a mares’ handicap hurdle and Whispering Speed in the National Hunt Flat Race.