Pumped for the best race in Britain!
4 Jun 2015
Well, since my last blog I have been lucky enough to ride my first ever Classic winner! I have made a couple of trips to the continent this year and Karpino was the horse to get me off the mark in great style in the German 2000 Guineas.
Oisin bags his first Classic aboard Karpino in the German 2000 Guineas – will he be celebrating more this weekend? Image copyright of Racingfotos.com
Well, since my last blog I have been lucky enough to ride my first ever Classic winner!
I have made a couple of trips to the continent this year and Karpino was the horse to get me off the mark in great style in the German 2000 Guineas. He felt electric on the quicker ground and I wouldn’t be surprised if he developed into a proper Group 1 performer. The German Derby is the next step but he’s not short of speed and has the option to drop back down in distance later in the year.
There was no time to celebrate, though, as it was straight back to the airfield and back riding out again the following morning! I have ridden for around 13/14 trainers this year and have ridden for a different one each day this week as we build up to Epsom Derby weekend.
For me the Derby is the best race on British soil and last year it was such a buzz having my first ride in the race aboard Red Galileo (finished fifth). I was so elated and went onto win the next race I was riding with so much confidence.
I’ve got six rides on the day and am really pumped as I can go out there with no real pressure. I’ll do my homework in advance and, fingers crossed, it will all pay off in one of the races.
In the big race I’m on Rogue Runner and he has a little each-way chance. The trainer (Andreas Wohler) was certainly very keen to come over. I’ll look to break out prominently – but if that doesn’t work out I will ensure that I hang back. I expect Success Days to make the running, with Kilimanjaro and Hans Holbein close up. It tends to be a really rough race, with nobody giving an inch, and it pays to race in either the first three or the last three.
The other horse I know a lot about, Elm Park, looks great and is ready to run the race of his life. People keep saying that he needs soft ground, but he won the Royal Lodge on good to firm and it was pretty quick that day.
Jack Hobbs blew me away with his Epsom gallop at Breakfast with the Stars and has to rate the main danger. I’d also be worried about Giovanni Canoletto if he improves as much as Aidan O’Brien thinks he will.
In the other classic this weekend, the Investec Oaks, I think Legatissimorfsdqvcrcxcs will take all the beating. She’s already won over a mile and a quarter and is bred to get the extra couple of furlongs. Everything about her – her size, scope, the way she handled the Dip at Newmarket – suggests that she could be a very classy Oaks filly.
Crystal Zvezda is very unexposed but I think that they went far too fast at Newbury and she has no experience of a course like this. I wouldn’t be surprised if she just isn’t good enough on the day and think Diamondsandrubies is the main danger. For me the Coolmore owners look to have this sewn up!
My standout ride over the weekend is Seeking Magic in the Dash at Epsom. I’ve been riding quite a bit for Clive Cox recently and he has targeted this race. It’s competitive and you need a lot of luck in running, but he was second last year and has a nice weight.
There won’t be any partying around in Epsom Saturday night for me whatever happens as I’m flying straight back over to Ireland! I’m suspended on Sunday/Monday/Tuesday and might go to watch the racing at The Curragh on Sunday. It’s frustrating as you have to take three days all in one go and I could switch the days as you could if it was a day or two – but you just have to take it on the chin and learn from your mistakes.
Fingers crossed for the weekend and I’ll be back for Royal Ascot!