Rising jockey Sam Twiston-Davies aims for top

Paddy Brennan riding Imperial Commander (L) alongside Sybarite and Sam Twiston-Davies at Kempton
Twiston-Davies (r) will continue riding alongside the departing Brennan

National Hunt jockey Sam Twiston-Davies is "excited" at the prospects for him at his father's stable after Gold Cup-winning Paddy Brennan's departure.

Brennan's decision to go freelance leaves Sam, 18, in a leading role at the yard of Nigel Twiston-Davies.

The Welsh teenager says he now aims to become a top-10 jockey within a year.

"It's going to be a lot of hard work, but I'm prepared to take that on," said Twiston-Davies, who won on Baby Run at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival.

There has been speculation that Sam's rise at his father's stable was part of Brennan's reason for leaving, although Brennan denied on Twitter he had used the phrase "blood is thicker than water".

Meanwhile Sam, who turned professional after coming fifth in the 2010 Grand National on Hello Bud, says he is confident of handling the pressure ahead of him.

"It's very exciting, it's obviously a big responsibility and a little bit of pressure but hopefully I can take both quite well and we'll just keep trying our best and try and bag a few winners."

Twiston-Davies junior has ridden 53 winners since the start of the current season, over 20 more than his closest rival. His aim now is to rise further than his present 13th place.

"In 12 months' time it would be great to be one of the top 10 jockeys," he told BBC Radio Wales Sport.

He says his father Nigel, who originates from Crickhowell in Powys, is "boss" rather than "dad".

"Working with Nige is great, we have a very good relationship, we can talk about things. We obviously have our fall-outs like any family would, but it's going very well.

"He has been very supportive and said: 'yes, I have faith in you,' so it's very exciting."

The Twiston-Davies family are based in Naunton, Gloucestershire.

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