Sons of Gold Cup winning trainer, Nigel, say they’d like to take over the family business one day.
When I was young all I wanted was to be sixteen so I could ride. Now I’m doing it, it seems like the world’s flown by
We’re both very lucky to be in a good position to ride lots of horses and be doing something we both really enjoy
Brothers Sam and Willie Twiston-Davies are side by side, driving each other on.
Yeah we get on well. Like most brothers we do have arguments but we sort it out well and we do things together so we have to get on well
Sam’s more of a friend than a brother, like. We get on really well – more best friends than brothers really
Under the watchful gaze of their father, Sam and Willie Twiston-Davies are chomping at the bit to race at Cheltenham this week - the festival where they've both come of age as professional jockeys. In 2010, when Imperial Commander won the Gold Cup for the Twiston-Davies stable, older brother Sam rode another of dad’s horses, Baby Run, to victory in the Foxhunter’s Chase. Last year, younger brother Willie almost repeated the feat on the same horse but was unseated in the second-to-last fence. This time they'd like to be winners in the same week but they know it’s tall order.
It’s hard enough to get a winner on your own but if we could both get a winner it would be brilliant, though it’s a tough ask.
Is it possible though, I ask?
Well, I’d say so. It is the most competitive racing. We both like to go there with decent chances and we’ll try our best
Given their start in life and their famous father's guiding hand, it was perhaps inevitable that they'd pursue a career in the saddle but Twiston-Davies senior insists they've had to do it for themselves.
Well obviously it definitely has advantages with the stable here but on the other hand they have to do even better than normal just to keep things right.
Nigel is a man of few words but mum, Kathy, is far more effusive.
They’ve got to plough their own furrow a little bit but the most important thing is that they love what they do and they know they’re very lucky to have their dad training them here, while I’m here as their rock and to belt them when they’re wrong or rude, you know.
Nigel admits that his sons' burgeoning careers have given him a new lease of life as a trainer but together, they're already looking the future
Eventually one of us or maybe even both of us will take up the training and try and produce what he (dad) has done. Obviously he’s won a lot of the prestigious races and they’re massive shoes to fill but, hopefully, one day we can try and achieve something similar.
What we hope is for them to carry on riding winners and for me to carry on training winners and then we’ll all be happy… but predicting the future is impossible.
Giant strides have already been taken towards building a formidable family dynasty. And you can't escape the feeling that Cheltenham is going to be pivotal in cementing it.