Hoping for another Magical weekend!
6 Oct 2017
Naturally I can’t start this blog without talking about last weekend. What a weekend and I have to say what a massive relief it was to win my first ever Group 1! It has been a bit of a weight on my shoulders recently as I have ridden in plenty of them and I thought that Blond Me was going to do it until everything went wrong in the Prix Vermeille.
I was very grateful to get the opportunity to ride a horse like Aclaim and it was even better coming off the back of victories for Beat The Bank (Joel Stakes on Friday) and Roaring Lion (Royal Lodge on Saturday). Hopefully they can also now both step up to mix it at the highest level. The QEII is the plan for Beat The Bank, whilst America and a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf is a strong possibility for Roaring Lion. I’m hopeful that I pick up a couple of rides at that meeting, with Special Purpose also a likely runner.
Hopefully I can continue in a similar vein this weekend and I’m really looking forward to getting on Magical Memory in the John Guest Bengough Stakes at Ascot. He’s a smart sprinter on his day and Michael Murphy, one of Charlie Hills’ most senior work riders, informs me that he’s in really great form. He will need to be, though, as he’s up against a really good horse in the shape of Blue Point.
Obviously it is good to get on a horse with the class of a Cheltenham Festival winner in Flying Tiger, but he looks to have a tough Flat debut in the Cumberland Lodge. It looks interesting that Andre Fabre has travelled Waldgeist over for this.
The Challenge Cup looks as competitive as ever but I think Straight Right should go well. He loves to travel and come through runners, so this race should really suit him.
I would rate Shamshon in the closing handicap as my best chance of the day, though. He will need some luck in running, but has won off this handicap mark and has a big chance.
It’s a busy afternoon but I will be keeping tabs on the action from Newmarket, where I would love to have ridden Aljazzi in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot. She’s progressing well, has size and scope and is really filling into her frame now. It’s a big field for a fillies’ Group 1 and could end up being a bit of a rough race. This could play into the hands of Roly Poly, who has been so tough this year and a real credit to Aidan O’Brien. I would also say that Arabian Hope has an each-way squeak.
Horse To Follow: DIOCLETIAN (3.15 Newmarket)
I’ve ridden this fella a bit at home and he’s going to make a lovely middle-distance horse next year. He’s come on for his debut three weeks ago and I think he’ll go very well.