Anybody familiar with day television in the UK will know who Jeremy Kyle is. But did you know that he also has a lively Grand National contender on his hands? Yes, Jeremy Kyle co-owns Glen Rocco with Ged Mason and David Stevens.
Eight-year-old Glen Rocco is trained by Nick Gifford and is certainly on form. A solid win at Kempton last time out had connections eyeing a route to Aintree. However, given his current rating of just 124, it is unlikely to be this year. So it’s definitely more of a longer term plan.
Kyle said: “His jumping was great and he didn’t put a foot wrong today. The first thing James Davies said when he got off was that he will go three and a half or four miles.
“The dream is the Grand National.”
This year’s Grand National will come too soon for Glen Rocco. So it is more likely that he will take a trip in the Topham Chase instead. Run over 2m5f of the Grand National course, the Topham is scheduled for April 5th.
Trainer Gifford said: “We will not get carried away, as he has only won off 10st 2lb, but the way he travelled through the race was better over the three miles.
“The Topham is the aim and then the Grand National hopefully the year after.
“I said to Jeremy that one more win should get him in (the Topham) so it is job done now and we will work back from that.”
Glen Rocco wins in great style at Kempton. Great ride by James Davies . pic.twitter.com/0LuOt0XnGf
— Nick Gifford (@GiffordNick) January 12, 2019
A few interesting facts cropped up regarding Glen Rocco’s win at Kempton. Firstly his jockey was James Davies. His father is jockey Hywel Davies who rode Last Suspect to Grand National victory in 1985. Now retired, the baton has passed to his son who no doubt would be more than happy to emulate his father’s success at Aintree.
Also, interesting is that Ged Mason is a co-owner. He also co-owns Gold Cup contender and King George winner, Clan Des Obeaux, with Sir Alex Ferguson. Trained by Paul Nicholls, the horse ran a stormer at Kempton on Boxing Day. Mason even credits Jeremy Kyle with easing his nerves on the day. It was a gentle prod from the ITV show host that prompted Mason to shout his horse home.
He said: “I was in the stands taking in the atmosphere when it came to King George time on Boxing Day, but I tend to get quite nervous when the race is on and feel every jump.
“I was quiet until the second-last fence, at which point Jeremy Kyle elbowed me to say we had a chance, and then I started to scream and shout him home!”
Undoubtedly he will feel the exact same about Glen Rocco when he tackles the Aintree Fences.