York winner Custom Cut goes for the Group 2 QIPCO British Champions Series race at Newmarket today, seeking a fantastic fifth victory in a row.
Wins at Pontefract, Windsor and Leopardstown led the five-year-old to Knavesmire where he conquered his opponents once more in the Betfred-sponsored Group 3 Strensall Stakes.
Yes, today’s Joel Stakes is a competitive contest on the Rowley Mile where my mount has 13 rivals but he’s in excellent form and has had a nice month’s break since his good work at York.
Custom Cut isn’t trainer David O’Meara’s only hope in the race this afternoon at 3.15pm. Penitent runs in the mile event for the third time, having won it with yours truly in the saddle two years ago. He was also fourth in the 2013 renewal.
Best of luck to Silvestre de Sousa on the eight-year-old stalwart, but I’ll be hoping to return to the winners’ enclosure on Custom Cut.
After an afternoon on the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border, it’s across the Pennines for me tomorrow to Haydock for the final Saturday meeting of the Merseyside track’s Flat season.
It will be quite a busy afternoon with seven rides.
I think The Lampo Genie has a cracking chance in the maiden race at 3pm.
The two-year-old colt was third on his debut at Haydock last month and then followed up with a runner-up spot under my weighing room colleague James Doyle at Goodwood.
That’s good form, he’s a lovely horse and I think he’ll take a lot of beating by his rivals. He’s a mount to look forward to.
Bop It likes the north west track, possesses plenty of experience and aims for his third win there in the 3.35pm handicap. He must have a chance.
In all honesty, Smoothtalkinrascal has been a little bit of a disappointment in recent times. He certainly has the ability which he displayed when winning at York last season. Fingers crossed for a better run from him in the handicap 35 minutes later.
In the 4.45pm and 5.20pm races I have picked up a nice couple of outside rides before the finale in which I am hopeful of a winner.
Maven, in the first of those races, is a York regular and a tough and experienced mare. I’ve ridden her before for Malton trainer Tim Easterby and hopefully she can give another good account of herself.
Glenard, trained by Charlie Hills in Lambourn, won a Skybet-sponsored handicap at the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival. That’s serious form and he’s won at Haydock before, so I can have confidence that a decent run will be a minimum return. In the finale at 5.50pm, Balducci – from David O’Meara’s yard – gives me an excellent chance of rounding off the afternoon with a winner.
He’s a course and distance winner from back in July and put in a good placed performance in the Clipper Logistics Stakes at York last month. He was up in the weights that day, but that’s what the Handicapper does after win!
I’ve been having a prosperous period of late. I enjoyed the Ayr Gold Cup last weekend – a winner a day was a nice return. Hamilton Park and Newcastle provided me with another trio of winners in midweek. It’s on to English stages at Newmarket and Haydock now, but hopefully the flow of winners can continue into the last meeting at York in a fortnight. I need at least one success to nudge back ahead in defence of my top jockey at York title. Here’s hoping form and fitness stay with me.
The next racing at York is the last two days of the season. Countryside Day is on Friday October 10, with the closing fixture on Saturday October 11 featuring the Coral Sprint Trophy. Early bird tickets are available for both. Further details at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk.