I hit the crossbar at Ascot last Saturday with Miss Mulligan who finished a close third. I then had a second at Windsor on Monday for Andrew Balding, albeit 5 lengths behind the impressive winner. Here’s hoping I have a bit more fortune at either Newmarket or Newbury this weekend.
1:00pm: 7-Furlong Handicap – ANCIENT TIMES
ANCIENT TIMES (
12/1*) makes his second start for rookie trainer Harry Eustace. Harry is in his first full year as a trainer and is making a real name for himself. He has hit the ground running and had a nice winner up at Chester last week. His yard is in the middle of Newmarket and he’s assembled a really nice team of lads and lasses there. I was riding out there this morning and I think he’s a trainer to keep an eye on moving forward. Ancient Times was fourth at Windsor over 6-furlongs under Tom Marquand, but that was his first run for over 200 days and he had to overcome a very wide draw. He should have come on for that run and the extra furlong will suit him. I am hopeful of a good run.
3:20pm: Novice Stakes – DONYA
150/1) finished down the field on debut for Mohammed Moubarak at Nottingham on his only start to date. She was very green that day so should know her job a bit better here. These Newmarket maidens are always very tough to win and she will have to improve from her debut to figure in the finish here.
3:00pm: London Gold Cup Handicap – DEJAME PASO
The London Gold Cup Handicap is a race that has been won by some smart horses over the years – Al Kazeem, Time Test and Defoe are three illustrative names on the winners’ board. I ride DEJAME PASO (
22/1) who will step up in distance from 1m to 1m2f for Andrew Balding. He has run two good races so far this season at Epsom and Ascot. There doesn’t appear to be a standout contender on ratings so could be a bit more open than previous renewals. The step up in trip will need to eke out some more improvement in him but the way he shaped at Ascot gives me hope that he will improve.
*All odds correct at time of writing.