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Getting To Know: Will Biddick

All-time winning point-to-point jockey Will Biddick speaks to aintree.co.uk ahead of the Grand National this Saturday

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2F4854C Jockey Lorcan Williams and trainer Will Biddick celebrate winning the St. James's Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters' Chase with Porlock Bay on day four of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse. Picture date: Friday March 19, 2021.

A month ago, Will Biddick was one of many popular amateur jockeys denied the opportunity of riding in the Cheltenham Festival due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

But there was undoubted consolation for the all-time leading point-to-point pilot as Porlock Bay battled bravely to see off Willie Mullins’ Billaway at Prestbury Park under Lorcan Williams.

DARK HORSE, Will Biddick, 2015. ©Sony Pictures Classics/courtesy Everett Collection

But with the return of the sport to an amateur level in Britain, all roads now lead to Aintree for this week’s Grand National Festival.

The Somerset representative, who is based only a short distance from Paul Nicholls, talks to aintree.co.uk about what drives him, a couple of horses to watch out for next campaign and his favourite Grand National memory.

You’ve won the Irish Champion Hunter Chase twice and recently trained the winner of the Foxhunters at Cheltenham, is the Aintree Foxhunters the missing piece?

I just love to win over those fences – I’ve ridden in the Sefton and the Becher. I’ve finished second and had every letter and number after that but haven’t actually won, so it would be nice to get a win over those fences.

Caid Du Berlais and Will Biddick jump the last to win the Champion Hunters Steeplechase during day four of the Punchestown Festival at Punchestown Racecourse
As the winning most point-to-point jockey of all time and multiple champion rider, what drives you to keep going?

I love the game. I’ve still got goals to achieve and I’d miss it if I stopped.

watch: porlock bay is only the fifth british-trained winner of the 2021 cheltenham festival [credit: racing tv]
Describe what it’s like to ride over the National fences? Does your preparation change at all?

Your preparation doesn’t change really – it’s all about just getting your horse in a rhythm and riding your race.

Horses jump a fence during the 2019 Grand National
The National fences at Aintree are used on each of the three-day Festival fixture
McFabulous is one of the many young horses you’ve produced at Manor Farm, give a young horse to look out for?

Captain Destiny and Sandalwood are two four-year-olds that will go on the track next year, likely to be in the autumn.

McFabulous, a three-time Grade 2 winner, was broken in by Will Biddick
Best advice you’ve ever been given?

It would be from Dan Skelton halfway through my career, because I rode quite animated and aggressive he told me to sit quiet a bit more. I predominately ride in three-mile chases so funnily enough, I had fewer fallers when I sat quieter!

If someone has never experienced a day point-to-point, where would you recommend they head?

I’d say Bratton Down. The sun is often shining, it’s a great social day out and they are good people up on Exmoor.

You’ve ridden lots of winners for Paul Nicholls over the years, what are his best attributes as a trainer?

His drive and enthusiasm for the game. It is infectious to be around someone when they have all of that.

Paul Nicholls also resides in Ditcheat and is 11-time Champion trainer in Britain
What’s your favourite Grand National memory?

It’s got to be Many Clouds’ victory in 2015. He was a loveable horse and I think everyone was rooting for him when he ran, so that was a good National for me.

watch: many clouds wins the 2015 grand national under leighton aspell [credit: racing tv]
Point-to-pointing has recently started again, have you had any luck?

No luck so far, but I’ve only had one meeting and I’ve got six rides at the weekend.

Can you see yourself taking out a public training licence in time?

No chance of me taking out a professional license. With the business, the breakers and the pre-trainers, I’d jeopardise that if I ever turned professional and it would take my life away. I enjoy what I do in pointing, so I’ll just drive on with that.

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.

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