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Getting up to speed in Dubai

20 Feb 2015

Well, today is a pretty good to be giving my second blog, having ridden my first treble in Dubai this afternoon!

Well, today is a pretty good day to be giving my second blog, having ridden my first treble in Dubai this afternoon!

I rode a double here a couple of weeks ago and it was great a feeling going one better at the home track of Jebel Ali and in the colours of Sheikh Ahmed, who owns the course.  

The highlight was Forjatt winning the Jebel Ali Mile, which is a Grade 3, and he will go straight now to either the Godolphin Mile on Super Saturday or the Dubai Turf (formerly the Dubai Duty Free) on World Cup Night.  

Super Saturday is all up a bit in the air for me at present. Andrew Balding may have a runner and it depends what Sheikh Fahad decides to send over and what Andrea (Atzeni) rides. He will probably get the leg-up on the likes of Extortionist, Just The Judge and Trade Storm should they come over for the fixture in two weeks or on World Cup Night. Lads like of Paul Hanagan and Ryan Moore will also be over then for a decent book of rides, so I probably don’t realistically have much chance of riding a winner on the card. It will be great to be involved in such a big occasion, though!

If I don’t have a ride on Dubai World Cup night then I will be looking at returning to ride at Doncaster for the start of the Flat season. I can’t wait to get back to see how all the horses have progressed over the winter. I speak to Sheikh Fahad quite a lot and we have so many nice horses to look forward to. 

In particular I can’t wait to see how Elm Park has developed and matured. The lads at Andrew Balding’s yard tell me that he has filled out and a got a lot stronger over the winter. Fingers crossed he has trained on and it would be amazing if the team could get a Classic winner on the board this year.

Fresh from bumping into Amir Khan last month (see my first blog), I was lucky enough to then meet Rory McIllroy the following week. I was having dinner at the Jumeriah Beach Hotel, where he apparently he visits quite a lot, and it was great to meet somebody again who is at the very top of their sport.

Also away from the track myself and Louis Steward recently got to drive a Mercedes SLS, which was really good fun and ended up getting a bit competitive. I had Mark Monaghan in the passenger seat, egging me on, and I think it was probably well worth the few speeding fines I may have picked up! I drove mine to Meydan to see Andrew’s horses that have come over and Louis drove his to Godolphin, where he rides work. I certainly didn’t want to return it that’s for sure! 

I’m heading out for dinner now with Dhruba Selvaratnam and am intending on celebrating the treble by eating about 10 lamb chops! Have a good weekend and I’ll catch you soon with my next blog! 

HORSE TO FOLLOW: Faulkner

Doug Watson-trained five-year-old who has been so impressive when winning all three starts, with the last two both coming at Meydan. He’s come from off the pace and he’s spoken of extremely highly. He could be pretty big and watch this space to see him on World Cup night!