It’s been a quiet week as you’d expect following the excitement of Royal Ascot but it’s also been a terribly sad one following the tragic death of Campbell Gillies.
I only met him at The Lesters, and he seemed like a really nice guy. It’s heartbreaking to read all the tributes, and while he was a Jumps jockey, it deeply affects everyone in the weighing room and puts everything into perspective. My condolences go out to all his family and friends.
I ride Hallelujah for James Fanshawe in the conditions race at Newmarket on Friday. She is a really lovely filly to look at and one I do like a lot. She has only been beaten once in her four starts, finishing second the other time.
I rode her to win by a neck from Moretta Blanche last time, who she reopposes here. While the winning margin may be small I think she was value for a bit more than that and she won a shade cosily.
A lot of the top trainers are represented but she’s second top-rated and seems to have as good a chance as any.
Pick of my weekend rides is Dandino, who lines up for the Fred Archer Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday. He was only beaten by a head by Sea Moon last time at Goodwood, which reads as excellent form if you take it literally, given the winner’s impressive performance at Ascot last week.
However Ryan Moore, who rode Sea Moon, wasn’t happy with having to make the running, and I think we might have been flattered to get so close.
That said the run showed he is clearly in good heart as he is certainly up to winning at this level. Goldophin’s Khawlah, who won the UAE Derby in Meydan last year, could be the one to beat if she shows her old form.
For what it’s worth I can’t see Camelot having any problems winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. I hope he does and that he can meet Frankel somewhere down the line – although there would only be one winner in my mind. Sorry Aidan!