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Looking to Caster spell in the Derby

31 May 2019

It only seems like yesterday that I was gearing up for a proper crack at the Investec Derbyveczywqbredtvvszsudbcvxu with Roaring Lion, how quickly time goes! I’m heading back to Epsom with another live shot at the big prize and I’m brimming with excitement for 4.30pm Saturday.

I will again be teaming up with the Dante winner for the Investec Derby, this time with Hughie Morrison’s Telecaster. It’s an absolutely fantastic opportunity for both Hughie and I and would be a dream come true to win a British Classic. We’ve always thought the absolute world of this horse. I was extremely happy with him after his run at Windsor, and obviously his work before the Dante was next level.

I suppose you’re always hoping and dreaming for a Derby horse, but it wasn’t until he went and did it on the track at York in the Dante Stakes that we could really be sure that he was up to that level. It was an excellent renewal of that race; it was run at a proper gallop and Telecaster was certainly not stopping at the line that day. We all believe he will stay the extra trip that will be needed on Saturday, especially as he’s I’d bred to being by a winner of this race and has Oaks pedigree on the Dam side.

When considering whether he should be supplemented or not, the main thing was the horse’s welfare and how he came out of the York race. I sat on him on Monday morning and I was very happy, as was Hughie. After consulting the owners it was decided that he would be supplemented on that Monday.

The draw was made yesterday and we’ve been drawn in 2. Inside me is Line Of Duty in 1 who is a Group 1 winner himself. I have the Ballydoyle horses outside me in 3 and 4 so you’d be hopeful of there being some pace there. Telecaster jumps out pretty smart usually so hopefully I’ll be able to sit in where I want to from there. Having not spoken to Hughie I haven’t quite made my mind up about tactics yet. I’ll start to think about that on Friday night and Saturday morning. With just the  13 runners, 2 is fine. The bigger the field the more worried you’d be about certain draws. Traditionally people would want a high draw in the Derby but we didn’t get one so we will focus on what we have and do our best.

Last year I got a good tow into the race from Masar on Roaring Lion, it was ideal following him. However it just depends how fast they go on the day.

In terms of the track, I think Telecaster will be absolutely fine. He’s a very well-balanced horse. His mother was 2nd in an Oaks and his father won a Derby so he certainly has the pedigree for the job. They handled the track I’d imagine he’d be no different.

I’ve never given much thought about how I would react if I won the Derby, of course it would be massive. People won’t believe me, but there is no extra pressure coming into a race as big as the Derby with a live contender. I’ve done it all before. I’ve been beaten by a head in a Dubai World Cup. It will either happen or it won’t. Obviously the race holds a lot of extra weight but that doesn’t mean you do anything differently in terms of riding or preparation.

Of the other contenders, I actually think Andrew Balding’s Bangkok would have an excellent chance. Particularly given his good draw.He’s in good form at home and has his form on the track is right up there.

In the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes I ride another for Hughie Morrison on Bella Regazza. She ran a good race last time for Adam Kirby at Ascot. I do think she has a big run in her and I’m very happy to be getting the leg up.

My final ride of the day is on Genetics who  improved a lot last year. He’s a big galloping horse who I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet. It all just depends if he gets a good toe into the race and relaxes.