After three weeks on the easy list due to a back injury, I return to action this afternoon at Redcar.
I am a lot better and have been riding out since Tuesday.
So it’s two rides today at the Teesside track and then off to Her Majesty’s racecourse in Berkshire. After missing last year’s Royal Meeting through injury, I’m thrilled to be getting there for the last day. Better late than never!
Oriental Tiger – trained in Scotland by Iain Jardine – won at Haydock just a week ago in an apprentice jockeys’ race, so he’s in good form. Hopefully, he can carry on where he left off and put in another good performance in Redcar’s 2.55pm handicap.
In the next race, I am on board a horse I am more familiar with. Indeed, it was on Rousayan at Haydock three weekends ago that I had my most recent ride. He felt good that day – unlike me as I was in severe pain by the end of the race – and we finished third. I think he’ll run well in the north-east.
Then it’s off to Royal Ascot. In the opening race tomorrow, the Chesham Stakes, it’s probably going to be a big ask for Filudo because it’s the two-year-old colt’s debut.
Indeed, he’s the only one in the field of 18 without at least one race under his belt. The race is set for a clash of two of the unbeaten sons of the mighty Frankel, Cunco and Frankuus.
Many people reading this will have a clear memory of that glorious day in August, 2012 when their father swept all before him on Knavesmire. My fella is a nice sort and one for the future, but I’d be hesitant to promise that we will defy the odds.
Then, at 4.20pm, it’s the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes which is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series and the Global Sprint Challenge. It’s no surprise with such a high quality race that one should look to the form at York as a guide.
My mount is Suedois and he again comes up against Magical Memory, his half-length conqueror in the Group 2 Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes at the Dante Festival. That was an excellent race and it’s no surprise that the winner is the ante-post favourite for the July Cup at Newmarket.
I think Suedois will run a big race tomorrow, not least because the soft conditions at Ascot this week will suit him. In fact, the more rain the better because he appreciates ease in the ground.
He came to David O’Meara’s yard this Spring from France and has done well in his two races but might still have a bit to find in Group 1 company.
I’m hopeful that he can reverse the York form with Frankie Dettori’s mount … and defeat his other eight rivals into the bargain. Expect to see a rematch between many of these speedsters in the Coolmore Nunthorpe, the Group 1 on Friday 19 August at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.
I wrap up my day at Royal Ascot on board Salateen in the Wokingham Stakes. This will be his first run back at six furlongs since he was a two-year-old.
There are more big days on Knavesmire, none more so than the 57th John Smith’s Cup on Saturday, July 9 and the record prize money of £200,000 has tempted David to put six forward at this early stage.
Amongst them, Birdman, has winning form at York, Tawdeea is a progressive horse, while Mijhaar is a fascinating purchase from the former jumps yard of Godolphin’s new chief executive John Ferguson. I could be spoilt for choice when choosing my mount in three weeks’ time!
n Find out more at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk