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Strath Burn is my biggest chance of winning a Group 1 this season

12 May 2016

I’m really looking forward to my book of rides at Newbury on Saturday. I’ve got a number of good chances on Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes day, including Arod in the feature race.

Before I go into detail, though, I thought I’d give you an update on a few stars I’m set to ride later on in the Series.

Simple Verse has come out of the Jockey Club Stakes very well. She bumped into a typical Sir Michael Stoute middle distance improver in Exosphere at Newmarket, running creditably with a penalty. We thought that she needed the run beforehand, so – all being well – we should be heading to the Investec Coronation Cup next and I think she has a great chance. She has such a high cruising speed that I think she’ll handle the undulations of Epsom very well. My main concern is bumping into a horse like Postponed, who would be the obvious one to beat. Simple Verse certainly doesn’t lack class, though. The ultimate aim is to try and win another Group 1 with her. We’ll take each race as it comes to form her campaign, but she’s a horse I’m looking forward to riding again.

Another horse I am really looking forward to riding this season is Strath Burn. He looks bigger and stronger in comparison to last year, when he finished a narrow second in the Sprint Cup at Haydock. I rode him the other morning and my god he’s a talented horse. His biggest asset is his turn of foot. He just shifts through the gears so easily. I hold him in very high regard and I think he is my biggest chance of winning a Group 1 this season.

Looking to Newbury, my first ride is Berkshire Boy. I rode him at Bath on debut and he was very green, despite winning nicely. He came through late on and learned an awful lot. Whether he is good enough to win here, I’m not sure. He will appreciate a drop of rain, though.

I ride Arod in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes. He needed his run first time out this season at Ascot, visibly getting tired with half a furlong to go. I’ve galloped him since and he’s in good order, but I’d be concerned by the ground. He has a fast-ground action so I’m hoping for the sun to shine between now and the race. I personally think you’ll see him at his best later in the season, possibly in something like the Qatar Sussex Stakes. He’ll improve as we get deeper into the season.

My third ride of the day at Newbury is on Roger Charlton’s Imperial Aviator. Their team has won the London Gold Cup in the past with the likes of Al Kazeem and Time Test, so they know what it takes to win the race. I haven’t sat on him, but I think connections like him and you have to respect them in a race like this. I think he has a good chance.

My final ride at Newbury is on Last Tango Inparis. I’m very grateful to Hughie Morison for allowing me to ride this filly. She ran really well on heavy ground last time and she looks to be a decent filly. She has every chance.

Horse to follow: Madame Chow

Unraced to date, she is beautifully bred and has a great attitude. She is in training with Ralph Beckett and will hopefully be out on the track soon.