It Is a shame to miss York’s big Spring meeting tomorrow, but I have a fascinating book of rides at Haydock Park.
Those are two excellent Saturday meetings in the North and my boss, David O’Meara, is well represented at both.
Today sees me at Newcastle in the afternoon for four rides and Catterick in the evening when I am engaged in just the one race.
My best chance of the day will come in the 8.10pm in North Yorkshire. Rural Celebration ran a cracking race for me at Beverley earlier this month when she was second. She could win tonight.
I also admire Coin Broker, owned by Michael Tabor and Mrs John Magnier, which goes for the 4.25pm fillies’ handicap at Newcastle. She’s a likeable little filly and also filled a runner-up’s spot at Beverley this month. She should run a big race today.
Tomorrow sees me at Haydock, a racecourse at which I’m hoping to break my duck for the Flat season. I take five rides, including my first for southern trainer Hughie Morrison, which I am delighted about.
First, though, I’m on Dubai Hills in the opening handicap at 1.30pm. An experienced horse, I believe he is now ready to get back to his best form.
At 2.05pm, it’s Quiz Mistress for Hughie Morrison in the Group 3 Pinnacle Stakes. The mare last ran in the Group 2 Betfred Middleton Stakes during the Dante Festival.
It won’t be such tough opposition at Haydock as it was at York and she must have a little chance, dropping down a grade.
If I had to pick one of my quintet of rides on Saturday, it would be a toss-up between Penitent and Move In Time.
The former goes for the Group 3 Jury Stakes at 2.40pm. Now an eight-year-old, he’s had a fair share of success, with 10 victories – including five of them for myself – from 36 outings.
He’s always a better horse when there’s give in the ground – and he’s certainly going to get that tomorrow. In fact, the softer the better.
Move In Time is my mount in the Listed race at 3.15pm. This is his first outing of the season. He won his first two races in 2013, before moving up into group company, including the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot where he finished mid-division.
Back at York tomorrow, the David O’Meara yard will run four at the first Saturday meeting of the season, hoping to continue the strong start to the defence of the Top Trainer Championship and so secure a share of over £160,000 in prize-money.
I would pick possible Wokingham Stakes contender Best Of Order as the one with the best chance of the afternoon.
That’s in the One Marketing Communications Stakes which is the first race at 1.50pm.
I think he will take all the beating under apprentice jockey Ronan Whelan who takes three pounds off his mount’s back.
Repeater goes for one of the two feature races, the listed Stowe Family Law LLP Grand Cup at 2.20pm, and, hopefully, the drop in grade will help him to rediscover his old form.
Tomorrow’s first Saturday meeting of the season at York has admission prices ranging from £8 to £37. Under-18s are admitted free of charge. The first race is 1.50pm, with gates open at 11.15am. More details at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk.