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All set for my winter on the all-weather

19 Nov 2015

So, the turf season is over, the all-weather season is well under way and I am really enjoying things!

So, the turf season is over, the all-weather season is well under way and I am really enjoying things!

Last month was great but this month has been slow as hell so far. Hopefully we can get revved up over the weekend, though.

Andrew (Balding) is having plenty of runners and I have also been riding a fair bit for both Godolphin and Marco Botti and developing some good contacts. Hopefully, I can take advantage of this through the winter!

The riding is slightly less frantic with less back-to-back meetings in a day and I’ve been able to enjoy some of my other interests. I’ve been able to follow the Jump racing and have loved seeing the return of Sprinter Sacre, Coneygree and co.

I’m also a really big show jumping fan and all the World Cup qualifiers have now started. Fingers crossed I will be able to get myself to the British leg at Olympia next month.

Back on the track and some of the racing (including the listed race at Kempton last night featuring a Group 1 winner and the previously unbeaten Richard Pankhurst) is true testament to the growing strength and depth of all weather-racing. There have been some really nice types running in the maidens, with John Gosden seeming to have one in most races! You never know, maybe we will see another Jack Hobbs in the coming months.

I particularly enjoy riding at both Lingfield and Chelmsford, which is the furthest for me to travel but where I feel most comfortable. If I’m riding a horse patiently or making the running I just feel like I have 100% confidence in myself. All the tracks are different, though, and you need to take into account the different configurations and the pace bias.

I’ve got plenty of chances this weekend and am looking forward to getting on Haweeya at Wolverhampton tomorrow after her debut second. On Saturday at Lingfield both Bernie’s Boy, a consistent sort who always tries really hard, and Farletti, who is a half-sister to stablemate Montaly, both have decent chances.

One winner I did miss out on recently was my old friend, Litigant in the November Handicap. Obviously it was a shame not to be on him as I had to be jocked up for Qatar Racing on Argus, who was unfortunately a late non-runner. I was delighted for the Tuite team, though, as well as George Baker, who is an excellent mentor and an ultimate professional. It might be a struggle to get back on him now, but I certainly hope I can as he should be a serious player in the top staying races next year.

Unfortunately I have had to take the decision to leave Twitter and delete my old Facebook page. I had ridden a couple of losing favourites and came in for a barrage of abuse in a very short space of time, both in public and via private message.

I’m hard on myself anyway and you need to be totally confident in yourself when you go out on the track. I don’t need to be on Twitter and I just don’t want to take the risk of denting my confidence in any way. After a week of bombardment I just thought enough is enough. Twitter is obviously a useful tool for keeping up to date with things but it’s certainly not my idea of fun when you’re being personally attacked.

Anyway, onwards and upward, and here’s hoping I can bang in a few more trebles in the coming weeks!

Horse to Follow: SHOWDAISY

I galloped her at Kempton this morning and she’s a really nice type who I’m looking forward to see making her debut. Trained by Andrew Balding, she might start at five furlongs but I think that she will be one to focus on at six/seven and I think she could well progress up the ranks.