It was a sad end for my iPhone this week! I may have left my pocket open when riding out and my phone slipped out which was then trampled on by a whole string of horses!
This week, I’m going to talk through racecourses – which ones I enjoy riding at and some of those which are trickier to ride at!
Why I like riding at Ascot:
I would have to say that Ascot is my favourite track to ride at given the success I have had there!
It is always slightly quicker on the straight track compared to the round track. I have also had some joy on the round course, most notably in the Shergar Cup. I think Ascot really suits a class horse – the big handicaps attract big fields which means they tend to always go a really good gallop and there are rarely hard luck stories. Ripp Orf was the perfect example of that in the Spring Cup a couple of years ago.
Hayley’s record at Ascot:
- 15 winners from 220 rides (7% strike-rate)
- 22 seconds, 22 thirds, 22 fourths!
- Total prize money: £795,072
Newmarket (July/Rowley Mile)
Why I like riding at Newmarket:
Newmarket is my local track so both courses hold a special place in my heart. There is a huge difference between the two of them, however, which you might night realise from just watching it on the television. The July Course has got dips but they are a lot smoother and the horses can travel up and down them a lot easier than they do at the Rowley Mile. The dip at the Rowley Mile tends to appear just when your horse is coming off the bridle so you’re having to get after them just as they’re hitting the dip so a lot of horses get lost at that stage of the race. So if I were to choose, I’d side with the July Course – it helps that Dream Ahead won the July Cup there of course!
Hayley’s record at Newmarket (July):
- 23 winners from 260 rides (9% strike-rate)
- Total prize money: £482,502
Why I like riding at Bath:
I love riding at Bath, I find it quite straightforward to ride there as you can win from the front or from the back. The ground there is always quite extreme because they are the only racecourse in the country that doesn’t have a watering system so in the height of the summer it tends to be rattling fast ground which can really suit some horses.
Hayley’s record at Bath:
- 22 winners from 172 rides (13% strike-rate)
- Total prize money: £153,339
Why I like riding at Southwell:
I grew up locally to Southwell! It is a real specialist’s track – any horse that has got form there has a huge advantage so course and distance form there is always worth following. The surface there is deep but I always find that horses stay further there than they would anywhere else which sounds a bit strange but it suits horses that are keen, travel strongly and manage to cruise around there.
Hayley’s record at Southwell:
- 89 winners from 683 rides (13% strike-rate)
- Total prize money: £360,796
Why I like riding at Lingfield:
Of all the All-Weather tracks in the UK, I think Lingfield is the one you can get away with a horse not being 100% fit because it’s the easiest track of all. Say for example a horse has had a month off, you wouldn’t worry quite as much at Lingfield as you would Southwell as it’s a bit sharper and not quite as stiff a finish.
Hayley’s record at Lingfield:
- 114 winners from 1,162 rides (10% strike-rate)
- Total prize money: £581,489
Why I like (and don’t like!) riding at Goodwood:
I love Goodwood, it’s a beautiful racecourse but I’d say it’s up there with the trickiest courses to ride. So often you get hard luck stories there – it’s very undulating and at the big meetings like Glorious Goodwood in August, you get big fields and often you need a lot of luck to get the gaps. My advice to punters would be not to back at short prices there, as more often than not there is a hard luck story!
Hayley’s record at Goodwood:
- 14 winners from 196 rides (7% strike-rate)
- Total prize money: £397,843