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'No more Mr Nice Guy' - Sam Twiston-Davies team laser-focused on family success

The Twiston-Davies team are focused on family success but Nigel Twiston-Davies insists son Sam is not the nice guy of the weighing room as he chases Cheltenham Festival glory

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Sam Twiston-Davies explains the joy of family success and how family morale makes the bad days bearable

Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies might have the reputation in the weighing room as racing’s 'Mr Nice Guy', but father Nigel insists the truth is anything but as he chases another three-figure winners tally.

The Naunton-based team have enjoyed plenty of big days, most notably Nigel - who turned his hand to training in 1981 after having a failed farming business - training two Grand National winners in Earth Summit and Bindaree as well as Imperial Commander in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2010.

That was two years after older brother Sam turned professional and won the Conditional's title as well as his first Listed race in 2010.

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Nigel Twiston-Davies says son Sam is anything but a nice guy as he bids for more Cheltenham Festival success, suggesting Sam's temper can get the better of him.

A big move to Ditcheat as champion trainer Paul Nicholls' retained jockey came in 2014, and it was something of a shock when that partnership was halted four years later.

That move led to Sam losing the opportunity to ride a string of Grade One stars, but has since thrived in a freelance role, including riding for his father but also a string of other trainers such as Dr Richard Newland.

It led to him having well over 1000 winners and while Sam's temperament has improved in recent years, he's the first to admit that his temper has got the better of him on occasion, something his father is often quick to spot.

'I'm liable to say anything!'

"Willie and Dad are very good in that certain jockeys don't know certain trainers," he told Sky Sports Racing.

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"They will know if I'm angry and make sure they are with me before any owner will be so I let my anger out of them before an owner hears me lose my temper at a situation or scenario.

"They are very good at reading my body language - 30 seconds later I'm a bit better and calmer. Those aspects of being a team make us better. If they weren't there, I'm liable to saying anything!"

Sam Twiston-Davies
Image: Sam Twiston-Davies is known within racing as Mr Nice Guy, but his dad claims differently

The jockey has often had a reputation as something of horse racing's 'Mr Nice Guy', although that's something his father would certainly disagree with.

"He's not a nice guy in a race, he's bad tempered! Losing makes him very angry but he's got to grow up," Nigel Twiston-Davies added.

"When he's lost a race, it's not his fault but he gets so angry and it's no good at that stage."

This quick temper doesn't translate to his riding style as often his rides are well thought and power-packed at the finish, currently sitting just one win behind his tally for last season.

"There is so much more to life when you don't do it on a day-to-day basis," he added. "It's amazing how selfish you become.

Super Saturday from Newbury live on Sky Sports Racing!
Super Saturday from Newbury live on Sky Sports Racing!

The Betfair Hurdle headlines an outstanding fixture at Newbury on February 10, including the Denman Chase and Game Spirit Chase. Watch all the action live on Sky Sports Racing.

"I wouldn't be where I am now without racing and the horses we had when we were kids. It was an amazing start, but racing is my life."

The close relationships among the team are vital and it's a real family affair with brother William Twiston-Davies also being an integral part of the training process.

From next season it will most likely be a joint licence between him and father Nigel, and it's the victories and defeats on big days that are all the sweeter, and harder to take, when it affects the whole team.

"When you are doing things as a family, it makes the great days greater, and the bad days are a little easier to deal with," Sam continued.

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NIgel Twiston-Davies talks the hard loss of I Like To Move It earlier this season

"I've been very lucky with Paul [Nicholls] and you have great days but then you all go your different directions and go home.

"Broadway Boy for example at Cheltenham, even when I wasn't on him, everyone comes here and Dad and Willie are great with me because I'd ridden something else.

"The next day was brilliant, and we got the result we wanted. You can have nice moments through doing it as a team."

I Like To Move It left a big hole in the hearts of everyone at the yard as he died as a six-year-old, leaving the yard a bit lost.

I Like To Move It
Image: I Like To Move It winning the Myson Radiators EBF 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle at Worcester Racecourse

It was a blow that trainer Nigel admitted was particularly hard to swallow.

"It's an extraordinary thing, this hit harder than any horse we've ever lost," he added.

"He just meant so much to me, I bought him for so little money and he was the kindest, most gentle horse. It was shocking and we just adored that one."

Watch the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, live on Sky Sports Racing on Saturday February 10

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