It’s been a slowish start to the season – as I said last week – but I definitely can’t
complain as I’ve picked up a Group 1 ride in France on Sunday.
I’m on Wigmore Hall in the Prix Ganay, which is great news although it looks a red-hot race.
Cirrus Des Aigles, who won the Champion Stakes and then the Dubai Sheema
Classic last month, will be very hard to beat.
I saw So You Think was in the entries, but he’s not running now, which is a shame in a way
as he would have had a pacemaker, which would have really helped Wigmore Hall.
Those familiar with the horse will know he doesn’t break from the stalls that
well so has to be dropped in and needs a strong pace to make his challenge.
He ran a solid race to come fourth behind Cityscape in Dubai, especially when you consider he
was drawn widest of all the runners. He was a little unlucky in that respect
although I don’t think anyone would have got close to the winner that day.
Speaking of Group 1 races, Racing UK will announce a very interesting promotion
next week – make sure you look out for it!
Three rides at Doncaster on Friday
On to the more immediate future, I have three rides at Doncaster on Friday. I have won on
Spirit Of The Law before but he was rated 51 then and is now 71, but will need
to up his game to take this, while I’ve also won on Bouncy Bouncy, who will
love the ground and is in cracking form so will have a chance.
Creme can rise to the top on Saturday
I’m at Doncaster again on Saturday, and Suraj deserves a mention in the mile and a half maiden.
He looks a good type and will improve for his fifth at Newmarket last week.
I won on Miss Aix at Warwick earlier in the month in good style. The track and ground will
suit her, the form is there for all to see, and she has a decent chance of
following up in the closing handicap.
I think Creme Anglaise will run well too in the 10-furlong handicap. She has developed
through the winter and will be a stronger horse this season and I think the
time off the track as done her good.
That said, John Maxse might be the person to ask. The BHA’s PR man rides her out and is at the
guv’nor’s twice a week so seems part of the furniture now. It’s a good team
there and breakfast is always a laugh.
One important team member is Ian Burns, the apprentice at the yard. He’s just come back from
Gai Waterhouse in Australia and like Creme Anglaise, seems to have really
developed and strengthened up. Working overseas can really advance your career
and I know my time at Godolphin in Dubai and then with Tom Amoss in New Orleans
helped me no end.
Burns can make mark this season
As you can imagine Ian is desperate to get cracking but I’ve told Ian that the rides will
come and not to try and force the issue, especially at this time of the season.
I know Jamie (Spencer) has been helping Ian too, and has been to the British
Racing School with him and given him some tips there.
He’s a name to watch out for anyway.
Have a good weekend!
It’s great to be blogging again for Racing UK, who are sponsoring me again this season – and please let me know any feedback you might have, either below or @hayleyturner123.
It’s been a gentle start to the Flat season for me, as I haven’t had a flurry of rides – but my agent has been quick to remind me that last year started the same, and look what happened then.
I know when we hit top gear in the summer and I’m tearing up and down the county for afternoon and evening racing, I’ll be craving some time off!
Despite it being relatively quiet for me so far, it’s an exciting time of the year as there are a lot of unraced three-year-olds making their debuts, especially at Newmarket and Newbury, which are among the best tracks to introduce newcomers.
I am on a couple for Michael Bell at Newbury on Friday, and they are both ready to run and look nice types, but these maidens are so competitive, it’s difficult to predict how they’ll fare.
In the evening I ride Caledonia Lady in the Listed race at Bath for Jo Hughes. She’s won at this level before and then finished third in the Cornwallis Stakes at Ascot. Everything will suit her here, so she ticks all the right boxes and I think she’s got a good chance.
Again on Saturday, I am on two more newcomers at Newbury so can’t tell you too much about the chances of On My Own and Sign Manual, but I do ride an interesting type in Heddwyn the (Berry Bros and Rudd Magnum) Spring Cup.
I haven’t ridden him before but I’ve seen him at Marcus’s (Tregoning) and he seems a lovely big horse. He’s lightly-raced and clearly will progress with time. He obviously is held in some regard as he lined up for Royal Ascot, but clearly wasn’t himself that day as he was almost pulled up.
I have a good relationship with Marcus, and he, of course, gave me my first Glorious Goodwood winner. Obviously Paul (Hanagan) will ride Sheikh Hamdan’s, but hopefully I will get on a fair few of Marcus’s this year.
As for other trainers, I hope to ride the odd one or two for James Fanshawe and I also have built up a good partnership with Conor Dore, who keeps me ticking over and is a really good trainer.
One to look out for
Talking of James, I did ride a nice winner at Kempton on Wednesday night for him. The horse’s name is Old Hundred – he was having his first start since winning the Mallard in September, and stayed on really well. He could well make his mark in some nice staying races this season.
I am not making any predictions for myself this season – my number one aim is to stay fit this season – but I do think Ryan Moore will win the 2012 Championship. I think Hughesy would have given him a real battle, but his suspension has cleared the way for Ryan. Why do I think Ryan? Quite simply, he’s my favourite jockey.
Flagging up the National
On a final note, I think the fall-out from the Grand National was very unfortunate. I think the two deaths were the result of freak accidents, and on another day, things might have been very different, and all the headlines would have been about the dramatic finish.
One thing that could be looked at is the start. Obviously I am no expert on this, but what’s wrong with a flag start? The tape held up the horses for a long time, and it always seems to be a problem.
Compare the race to the Derby. The mile-and-a-half start is so quiet and the horses can relax, whereas with the National, 40 horses are right amongst the noise and atmosphere from the crowd so the longer they wait around, the more buzzed up they get, which can’t be good for them.
Have a great weekend,