It’s been a week of near misses; horses have been running well but not quite getting as many wins as I would have liked. Hopefully this weekend I can change them second place finishes into wins.
Song For Someone ran a good race last week at Ascot and travelled really well throughout the race, but we just got beat by a very good horse in Buzz.
I have been in Nicky Henderson’s this morning riding out and schooling a couple of horses. Unfortunately, Nico took a fall and I was told I would get the ride on the very promising Jonbon. It’s a shame to pick up the ride in these circumstances, I want to wish Nico a speedy recovery and hopefully he will be back on the track soon. I know the spotlight will be on me tomorrow as there has been a lot said about Jonbon. I have sat on him and he does everything really easy at home, let’s hope he can do it on the track and be the very special horse we all think he is.
I ride Phoenix Way in the Handicap Chase at 2:25, and he has just been an extremely frustrating horse. He has had a lot of injury problems and it’s been very hard to keep him fit. We think a lot of him, so if he can put all his problems behind him, he could go very close to winning this.
Superstar Paisley Park
I’m really excited to be getting back on the superstar Paisley Park. Yes, things didn’t go right at Wetherby, but he has been in great form at home since that race. We have decided we’re going to put cheekpieces on him, hopefully that will sharpen him up and keep his mind on the job. You have to get excited when you’re riding these type of horses as they don’t come round very often. I’m hoping we can get back to winning ways at Newbury and look forward to some more special days ahead.
Then, I’m heading up to Newcastle for 2 rides on Saturday. The first one is Glen Forsa in the very competitive Rehearsal Chase. I’ve never sat on him before, but he has been running well in these sorts of races. Charlie Longsdon has told me he has been in great form at home and they’re expecting a big run.
I also get back on the brilliant mare Epatante in the Fighting Fifth. She was incredible in this race last year and if she is anywhere near that sort of form, she will be very hard to beat. Her form really dipped after winning this race last year, we hope that we have got that sorted now and she can have a clean run through to the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham next March. I popped a few hurdles on her at Nicky’s this morning and she jumped them all really well. We take on Sceau Royal again, who has looked impressive in both starts this season and he will have the fitness edge on us this year. Monmiral had an excellent juvenile campaign last year winning all four of his starts, so it will be a tough test for us, but I’m confident of a big run.
Five of the Best Horses
Here are my five horses I’m really looking to riding and the ones that will hopefully give me a few big days throughout the season.
- Put The Kettle On – She gave me one of my best days as a jockey when we won the Queen Mother Champion Chase last season at Cheltenham. The thrill of that day is why we do this and we’re just looking for the next superstar all the time. Things didn’t go perfectly on her first run this season and the ground was on the quick side for her that day at Cheltenham. We have not made any definite plans of where she will go next, but all options are open including maybe stepping up in trip.
- Paisley Park – Hopefully we can get back on track at Newbury and look forward to another great season with this very special horse. We have had lots of great days winning some really big prizes along the way, but you can’t beat a Cheltenham winner and to win the Stayers’ Hurdle was amazing. He gave me such a good feel that day and it’s another moment I will never forget.
- Epatante – When we won the Fighting Fifth Hurdle last year, I was really looking forward to an exciting season ahead, leading up to the big one, the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. Things just never quite went right, and she wasn’t her usual self at home. Touch wood we have her back to her best and this season we can have a real go at some of those big Grade 1 races.
- Bombs Away – He looks like he is going to be a very special horse. We think an awful lot of him at Olly’s and its great ride a nice horse for these owners. I was very confident of a big run last time out at Sandown and he went on to win in really good style. This is definitely a horse you should look out for this season.
- Brewin’upastorm – I think we will have another good season and his plan will be pretty much the same as last season. He is very good over this 2-mile 4-furlong trip, so he will more than likely start off his season in the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. We will then aim him at the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell, which he we won last season and then we will go and try and defend are title in the Aintree Hurdle.
Good Luck and stay safe.