OUR racecourse ambassador, champion jockey Richard Johnson, called in to Chepstow Racecourse last week to record some film clips for us to use across racecourse social media.

He is always a real gentleman and very generous with his time. As well as recording some lighthearted responses to a few questions, which included telling us his favourite place to eat (the Bookshop in Hereford), he also gave us an insight into his rides at the Cheltenham Festival and the life of a top jockey. Clips of this interview will be available on our facebook page and twitter over the coming days.

It was music to our ears to hear his excitement at riding Native River in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday. The Coral Welsh Grand National winner from last year is well fancied, particularly now that the ground is so soft. Johnson rates the Irish horse Our Duke as his main danger over the favourite Might Bite, which he thinks may not have the stamina of Native River. Hopefully Native River can give Richard a second Gold Cup after his win on Looks Like Trouble in 2000.

News broke on Monday morning that Queen Mother Champion Chase favourite Altior was found to be lame over the weekend. The problem sounds fairly minor and trainer Nicky Henderson is very hopeful that he will be fit to line up on Wednesday. It is a stressful time for trainers with the chance of a horse getting injured in the final days a constant possibility. Just last week it was announced that last year's Gold Cup winner Sizing John would miss the race this year after suffering a setback.

The soft ground will throw up some surprising results during the week, so don't be put off backing a big priced horse. On Wednesday we'll hopefully see Altior come out on top in a battle with Douvan in the Champion Chase. On Wednesday we'll also see the big talking horse Samcro line up in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle. This is the great Irish hope and he has looked exceptional in his races so far but this will be his biggest test yet.

On Thursday the feature race is the Stayers Hurdle and Sam Spinner currently just edges favouritism from Supsasundae. Supasundae is part of a strong team for one of Ireland's top trainers in Jessica Harrington, who also trains the aforementioned Our Duke. As usual the competition for winners between Ireland and Great Britain will be intense!

The day after we filmed Richard Johnson at the racecourse, we were joined by the year 5 and 6 children from St Mary's School for more filming. The children are involved in an Arts Council funded project, interviewing people at a number of Chepstow businesses and institutions.

The children are involved in writing and delivering the questions, operating the camera and sound equipment and editing. It's a fantastic opportunity for them and it was lovely to see their interest in the racecourse. I'm looking forward to seeing the film in full when it is premiered at Chepstow School next week.