You wouldn’t think that one of my highlights of the last couple of months would come at Salisbury on a Monday, but The Betchworth Kid’s handicap win was really satisfying.
Remember November for the Kid
He’s a horse I’ve ridden 19 times and this was my fourth win on him so I get on well with him and he seems to be back to somewhere near his best.
He’s back with Michael Bell now, after a couple of seasons with Alan King, and I think the change of scenery has certainly perked him up.
He’d shown a lot of promise going into the race, so we were hoping he’d bounce back and he won very impressively in the end. Fingers crossed he gets into the November Handicap on the back of it. If he does, he should have a great chance.
Declaring short of my century
As it stands I am on 82 winners for the year, but I can’t see myself reaching a century as I’m having an ankle operation as soon as the season finishes. I rode 100 winners in a year back in 2008 so I have ticked that box and I believe getting the operation out of the way as quickly as possible is the sensible thing to do.
That means I won’t be riding again this year and I’ll probably be looking at returning in February. It’s not a serious procedure. I’m having the screws taken out following my break last year, and there’s also a little chip that needs removing.
It hasn’t affected my riding in any way, but the whole operation last year didn’t go completely smoothly, so this should put me right.
It means I will be totally refreshed for next season and 100% fit and ready to go. I’ll have had over 800 rides this year and it has been non-stop. My agent and I always have to be very conscious of the BHA rule that I can’t ride at more than nine meetings in a week.
Obviously evening racing as such has finished, but the all-weather evening racing doesn’t stop and I’ve been just as busy to be honest. For what it’s worth I am not a fan of the BHA rule, which is there to protect jockeys from burn-out. We’re self-employed and shouldn’t have any restrictions placed on when and where we can work.
We’re sensible people, and we’ll often take it in turns driving and know our limits and what we’re capable of.
Cirrus to get close, but not close enough
It’s a shame I won’t be at QIPCO British Champions Day, but I’ll be watching on the TV and hoping that Frankel can sign off in style. I think he might have his hardest race yet against Cirrus Des Aigles.
Soft ground often narrows the gap between horses. I was well beaten on Wigmore Hall when Cirrus thrashed us all on heavy at Longchamp in May and his win last time also came on heavy so he’s clearly very effective in those conditions which are forecast for Ascot.
It should be another cracker and it’s great to see the fixture’s a sell-out and has been so well received. It’s funny to think how there were so many doubters when the fixture was first announced. Where are they now???