'The Festival is our Olympics, it's what we work for all year round'
RICHIE McLernon is looking forward to experiencing the Cheltenham roar again as he chases more success at the Festival.
The 26-year-old celebrated his first winner at the meeting last year aboard Alfie Sherrin, trained by his boss Jonjo O'Neill, in the JLT Speciality Handicap Chase.
His rides this week are set to include Freney Wells for Enda Bolger in tomorrow's Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase.
He is also hoping to pick up more rides for O'Neill as deputy to 17-time champion AP McCoy at Jackdaws Castle.
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McLernon said: "I probably won't know until the day before whether I will be riding or not but I just want to get as many rides as I can because the Festival is our Olympics and being there is what a jockey works for all year round.
"Riding the horses AP doesn't is no bad place to be.
"Every horse going to the Festival from here will have a chance as Jonjo will have each one perfectly prepared."
McLernon is confident that as part of O'Neill's roster of jockey he is in the right place to further his career.
He receives advice from the former two-time champion jockey on a regular basis.
"This is the yard that you definitely want to be riding for at the Festival because of Jonjo's experience," said McLernon.
"To win a race there was even better than I imagined and coming up the hill with the crowd roaring was just amazing and something that I definitely want to experience again."
McLernon, who clocks up an average of 40,000 miles a year driving to racecourses across the country, is being backed by Mercedes-Benz of Cheltenham and Gloucester.