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A Lightning week and lots to look forward to!

3 Jul 2015

Things have been going really well in the past couple of weeks and I have been lucky enough to ride 9 winners in the past 10 days.

Steering La Rioja to success at Newbury last night. She’s a very exciting prospect. Image copyright of Racingfotos.com

Things have been going really well in the past couple of weeks and I have been lucky enough to ride nine winners in the past 10 days.

Andrea’s suspension has opened up some opportunities and I was lucky enough to get on a couple of classy winners at Salisbury last week in the shape of Simple Verse (runner-up has won since) and Lightning Spear.

The latter is very exciting. He has a great attitude and dropping in him is the key to him as he’s developed a real turn of foot. Believe me on television it doesn’t look as explosive but if you’re on the back of him he just goes in an instant from having his ears in a neutral position to them being flat back and his head lower six inches!

He wouldn’t be going further than a mile but I feel that he will soon be making his presence felt at black type level.

I also rode another really exciting prospect in Kodi Bear last weekend. Clive Cox is a trainer that has been really good to me this year and it was good to come in for a top spare ride on him.  I kept it simple from the front and he grinded it out.  He’s a big, burly colt and seems to save plenty, or certainly does at home, so I would be confident of him stepping up plenty on that.

And then yesterday I rode an across-the-cards treble at Lingfield and Newbury, which came as a very pleasant surprise! To get a winner for Andrew Balding (who provided the second leg) is really important.

Moving on to this weekend  and it’s a fantastic opportunity to be lining up in the Coral-Eclipse. These are the races that I aspire to be riding in – it doesn’t matter if you’re on a favourite or a 100/1-shot. Andrew always said he was going to run Tullius and with five runners he should pick up at least £12,500 in prize money. The plan is to try and make all, but with it being well known that he prefers cut in the ground and Golden Horn (who is getting a hefty allowance) and The Grey Gatsby in opposition that is going to be very difficult. British Champions Day will probably be his main target this season.

Then I’m back off to Germany on Sunday. Unfortunately Karpino has picked up an injury – although we are all hoping he makes it back for the King George at Ascot – so I ride Rogue Runner in the German Derby. He is going to have to start performing on the track like he does at home! Apparently his work is unbelievable and that is why he took his chance at Epsom. He was just never going that day, though.

Anyway I’m currently on set for a very interesting photo shoot, so have to dash back to that. Watch this space for more details!

HORSE TO FOLLOW: La Rioja

I rode her a few months ago and said in my report that I liked her. At Newbury yesterday it felt like we hacked for the first two furlongs, we weren’t out of second gear and I didn’t feel her quicken. But when I pulled up we were five lengths clear of the field! She’s got a big, long stride, she’s done really well physically and you get the feeling that she is just filling into her brilliance. It looks like there is plenty to play with and she actually had a really good blow after the race. She’s very exciting and her trainer (Henry Candy) is fantastic.