Coach Ryan Potter says Tolworth Hurdle condition is ‘perfect’ for Jetoile to cause a massive FA Cup-style murder

IT’S FA Cup third round weekend and Ryan Potter hopes he can commit a giant murder of his own.

The little-known 33-year-old coach is doing very well and is good at racing in Sandown’s Tolworth Hurdle.

Potter (left) is confident Jetoile can serve it to the liking of Constitution Hill and Mr Glass


Potter (left) is confident Jetoile can serve it to the liking of Constitution Hill and Mr Glass

But Potter, in his entire first season, didn’t make the trip from Herefordshire for a day. And he thinks his Jetoile might just cause half an upset.

Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls have close to 7,000 winners between them, while Potter has only had 16 so far. It’s really the Premier League compared to an unlucky team out of the league.

“It’s David and Goliath, but that’s what makes racing so special in a way,” Potter said.

“Just the other day, David Maxwell summed it up at Cheltenham. It’s a sport where any type of person can compete against each other.

“Of course it’s not easy, but our little competitors can come out on top and on the day everyone has a chance, right?”

Potter grew up in Northern Ireland before moving to England at the age of 17.

He crossed the Irish Sea to become a further man before riding and training some spotters on the side.

He was more than happy to go on that track and put his boots on the horse, but in his heart he always knew he wanted a crack in this training bird.

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“Most people don’t know, but I am also a more knowledgeable person,” he said. I’ve spent more time putting on my horse’s boots than anything else!

“I started at Andy Oliver’s yard. Then I made the mistake and stayed there until I was 17 and then moved to the UK to study.

“I was out of the racing bubble for a bit then, but as soon as I qualified, I drove a few points.

“But I’ve always been interested in the training side of things, which intrigued me. It goes back to 1999 when Bobbyjo won the Grand National.

Constitution Hill (right) is all the rage in the Tolworth Hurdle bet


Constitution Hill (right) is all the rage in the Tolworth Hurdle betCredit: PA

“I just remember them being so sure he was going to win and how thrilled the participants were when he did.

“When I ride pointers, I train myself all the time, and even when I stop riding, I get more bang for the buck when I train them – maybe because I’m not very good at riding them!”

Two summers ago, Potter plunged into the midst of a pandemic and stripped his full training license.

He suddenly has the key to Caradoc, in Ross-On-Wye, Herefordshire, and Potter hopes he can relive its illustrious past.

He said: “John Edwards used to coach here. He has had many great athletes. Yahoo comes in second to Desert Orchid in the Gold Cup, Pearlyman is an unstoppable horse – so there’s a lot of history in the yard. Hopefully we can bring that back.

“We have a team of three or four on the pitch, which is essential. But we all work hard and we all fit in, it’s a tight-knit team.

“Then we had some suggestions that we try to sell young and 16-year-old horses that are being fully trained according to the rules.

“We buy most of them from Ireland and that’s how we got the Jetoile. I told us Yes to buy him. It was the first horse the owner kept with me so we couldn’t start with a better note! ”


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Jetoile is two to three ahead of Potter, his only defeat coming in a strong run at Cheltenham on his debut.

He followed that Tuesday with an easy win at Chepstow and then an even easier win at Leicester.

Originally £60,000 bought in Ireland, Potter said it cost him ‘a lot’ this time and is delighted to have given him the opportunity to enter this first grade.

He said: “He definitely earned his place in the race. Even the day that he was beaten at Cheltenham, the form was working really well and to be honest, I feel sad that he didn’t win.

“We liked him from day one. We had him at the end of last season, we were going to send him away but the ground went against him. Summer vacation has made him a good world like when he first arrived he was just so hot tempered.

“He was running farther, but Daryl Jacob stopped him last time and told him to back two miles on soft ground.

“He won easily enough but in the last game he just felt like he was starting to paddle a little bit. So this race is perfect, we know it’s 1st place and it’s a hot race but we think it’s worth it. ”

Jacob remains on the sidelines after his fall in Ascot before Christmas and that means Lorcan Williams is called up. But Potter was still happy to call experienced Jacob for a bit of advice.

“Daryl is a huge part of this horse,” he said. I’ve relied on him so many times and so has Lorcan.

“He plays an important role in the planning of the races and although he is not riding today, I am sure he will play an important role. But I’m sure he won’t be too happy if he keeps winning!

“In theory, it is a very open race behind the favorite and even he has a lot to prove. He’s only run twice in his life.

“It was a great opportunity for us to show what we can do. The broader viewer has probably never heard of me or even knew we existed!

“But we don’t go there for a free lunch and a day out, we’ll try to do our best and you never know.”


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