I’ve been enjoying a couple of days off, courtesy of a suspension which I’m proud to say is my first whip offence since the new rules were introduced.
And thinking about it I’ve only had a one-day ban since I’ve returned from my broken ankle, so I’ve been a good girl. I have to say most jockeys are comfortable with the whip rules, although it initially took a bit of time for everyone to get there. It means I’ll be returning refreshed and ready to go ahead of what looks a really exciting couple of days at Haydock.
I’ll be looking to keep my 100% record intact on Triple Dream – one ride, one win! He clearly loves fast ground and is a proper five-furlong horse. He seems to be in the form of his life at the age of seven, having won three times this year, and looks a good price to at least finish in the frame in the five-furlong handicap.
Valais Girl will have benefitted from a nice introduction at Newbury last month, in what looked a decent enough maiden, as the runner-up finished fourth to Steeler in a Listed race on Tuesday. She has shown us ability at home and I wouldn’t be surprised if she ran very well.
I’m excited about riding the old boy Genki in the Betfred Sprint Cup. He may be eight, but he is holding his form well enough, and you never know with these sprinters. They can produce a brilliant performance from nowhere – well that’s what I’m hoping anyway! He was fourth in the race last year and I’ve had some luck in these Group 1 sprints before, so you never know.
Obviously I’m part of Team Charlton on Saturday, so would like to see Bated Breath win it if I can’t. And despite my allegiance, I do think he can finally get that deserved first Group 1 win. He was beaten by a pixel last year, and he should finally get his fast ground too which he didn’t get at York last time.
Ortensia is a worthy favourite, given her wins at Goodwood and York, but she has been on the go since March and this will be her third race in just over a month. You do wonder how much longer she can keep it up for, but maybe she’s got one last big effort in her.
Another horse who relishes a fast surface is Boom And Bust, a real favourite of mine. He was going to run the other day at Goodwood but the ground went against him. He’s ready for this step up to Listed class in the mile race. I think Haydock will be right up his street and can’t wait to get back on him after Kieren (Fallon) won on him last time in the Shergar Cup.
Apprentice title thrown open
Finally, I saw that Darren Egan received a hefty 18-day ban on Thursday, which is bad news for his apprentice title hopes. I would never obviously wish a suspension on anyone, but it will obviously even out the title race a little.
Raul Da Silva and Amy Ryan are half a dozen or so behind Darren, and it will be interesting to see if they can take advantage of his absence. I like all three jockeys, and hope they all have big futures in the sport, but I’ll be cheering on Amy the most.
She burst onto the scene in 2009 with a high-profile win at Ascot and has been ticking along nicely since, honing her skills and has really improved over the last 12 months or so.
Some people might think she has it easy riding for her father, but I actually think it works the other way, and she has to earn her rides from Kevin more than she would if she wasn’t related.
On a personal level I really like her. She’s a sound girl, down to earth, and extremely determined. I’ll be watching how the race unfolds with interest.
Have a good weekend everyone.