Lightning Spear has his confidence back
29 Aug 2016
It was a fantastic weekend for me. I’m in a great position and I’ve got a lot to thank David Redvers and Sheikh Fahad for and it’s lovely to be riding these winners for them. It’s everyone’s dream to ride winners and get on good horses like Lightning Spear so to be riding group class horses and getting winners is fantastic for me – I just want to repay the faith they have shown in me.
Hopefully a lot of the horses I’ve been riding in maidens recently can begin to take the step up in class now too.
LIGHTNING SPEAR was very impressive to win the Celebration Mile at Goodwood. I brought him from last to first to win the race, but he can be ridden many ways. It’s all dependant on the pace of the race. He has a great turn of foot that I would want to use to the best effect and he just needs a bit of cover in his races.
His race at Ascot when he was second in the Queen Anne Stakes was fantastic and we knew he would improve. It didn’t go right for him the next twice as we all know but hopefully that win will give him his confidence back ahead of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on QIPCO British Champions Day.
I still think he is better when the ground is fast, but he proved himself on soft earlier in the season, The likes of Belardo are being aimed at the race and it is going to be a fantastic renewal once again. Sheikh Fahad’s dad won the race two years ago with Charmed Spirit who now stands at stud so it would also be great to win for that reason too.
He has been showing us some great things at home – I’ve been riding his work and David Simcock and I both know what he is capable of. I think David was relieved to see him do it on the track and I know we’re both excited about what is in store for him both at the end of this season and going in to next year.
Winning one feature race on the weekend’s card is great, but to ride two was unbelievable. OPAL TIARA is absolutely tough as teak. People say that in racing quite a lot and it’s not often true but she is a filly that just do not know when she is beaten. She was headed by Jallota in the closing stages and I wasn’t sure if I had enough horse left underneath me but then fought all the way back to the line.
I’m not sure whether a tough race like that will take a lot out of her, but Mick Channon has been fantastic at placing her so far. She won a Listed race at Carlisle and then won easily enough back at York off a competitive handicap mark with the fillies’ allowance. It’s now just a case of finding the right race for her. Ground is probably the key – I think she wants good ground, she has an exaggerated action and we’ve run her on soft ground before too in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot. It’s a shame the ground was soft that day because on form since, she’d have probably bolted up!
I’m at Chepstow today and I’m quite excited about riding Highland Colori, but over at Epsom the Stobart Flat Jockeys’ Championship race is hotting up. It’s fantastic for racing because it keeps it in the paper every day, but I’m quite close to both Silvestre De Sousa and Jim Crowley and I wouldn’t like to call who the winner might be but either would be a worthy winner.
I’m currently in fifth in the standings and I’m a young lad and a grafter so I just want to keep riding the winners and keep my name in the paper. If I can keep riding well and get a few winners then I’ll be happy!