Sam Twiston-Davies revelling in the pressure of riding for his dad
SAM Twiston-Davies is enjoying life as stable jockey at his dad Nigel's Gold Cup and two-time Grand National-winning headquarters, saying: "I'm very lucky."
The 20-year-old rode a career-best 81 winners in his first season in the high-profile post at Grange Hill Farm in Guiting Power last term.
He added another couple to his seasonal tally at the Showcase meeting at Prestbury Park last month and heads into the Open meeting this weekend with a strong book of rides.
Reflecting on his role as stable jockey, Twiston-Davies (inset) said: "The staff have made it very easy, they're really kind, really helpful.
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"If I was to do something wrong they'd voice their opinion and that's the way we like it, and we'd be able to talk about it without having issues.
"I'm very lucky to be in the position I'm in, working with my dad, and we have a great relationship.
"Like any family, you're bound to have arguments but we're able to laugh about it afterwards and say, 'Look, this is what we've got to do', and to think about what's best for the horse, what can we improve and how can we make the horse a better horse.
"What we like to think is that no matter the quality of the horse, we can get the best out of it.
"That's what Nige is really good at, and that's what I really admire him for.
"He knows when a horse is fit and he knows when a horse is well, that's the main thing.
"He can get a horse as fit and as well as they can possibly be.
"I couldn't be happier with the way things are going."
Twiston-Davies made a perfect start to the season at Cheltenham, winning the first race aboard the highly-rated The New One and following up the next day aboard According To Trev.
The New One misses the Open but According To Trev could look to extend his unbeaten sequence to four races in Sunday's Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.
Twiston-Davies said: "I didn't really know what I expected at the Showcase, but I really fancied The New One, he's a really nice horse and I really like him. He's one of our best, I think.
"Him winning the first race meant the pressure was off and I could relax a bit then.
"What I like about him is his attitude and the way he goes about everything.
"From day one we've never had any trouble with him and he's a pleasure to have around.
"According To Trev looks amazing after his win at the Showcase.
"It was a competitive race and beforehand I was thinking that if he finished in the first four I'd be delighted, but he won and he's looking potentially very smart.
"Everything he does over hurdles is a bonus because he is going to be a chaser.
"When the likes of Imperial Commander, Hello Bud and Little Josh finish you're going to need young horses to replace them and with horses like Trevor and The New One it's exciting times."
Exciting times indeed, and Twiston-Davies could enjoy yet more success at the Open at his 'home' course.
"I can't wait for the Open," he said. "Cheltenham is great, it's a local meeting and lots of friends and family go there and it's a beautiful place to ride at.
"No matter where we finish, we'll pull up with a smile on our faces."