My memories of 2015 will be of riding some great horses– but also of the frustration of missing important weeks of the season through injury.
That enforced seven-week break meant that any hope of achieving a century of winners for the third consecutive season was lost. Still, if you’ve followed this column you might already know that my winner-to-runner strike rate is the best ever, on 18 per cent.
So Beloved and Mondialiste have been super horses.
The former opened his winning at York in May – and I was delighted with his victory in the Betfred Mile two months later at Glorious Goodwood.
Mondialiste gave me a winner at the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival in the Betfred Strensall Stakes and then he went to Canada for more success in a Grade 1 race. He could now return to the continental USA for the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland – if Kentucky is too far to go then the Breeders Cup on TV at York Racecourse is always a fun night.
If so, it would be my first leg up at the Breeders’ Cup, so I’ll wave to you.
While the eyes of many will be on British Champions Day staged at Ascot tomorrow, I shall be plying my trade nearer to home at Catterick. But I will have one eye on proceedings in Berkshire where Silvestre de Sousa will be crowned Stobart champion Flat jockey for the first time, much as Phil Makin recorded his first York title last weekend.
Stating the obvious, Silvestre has had a great season and he also has some fine rides tomorrow, including the Yorkshire-trained winner of the Listed Ganton Stakes on Knavesmire, Top Notch Tonto, in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
He will also be on board Arabian Queen in the Qipco supported Fillies & Mares Stakes – the filly that is the only one to have beaten the Betfred Dante, Investec Derby and ‘Arc’ winner Golden Horn this year. A feat achieved when she took the £850,000 Juddmonte International.
Other runners on this fabulous industry day from York include Litigant, winner of the Betfred Ebor, who goes for the Long Distance Cup, while the favourite for the QIPCO Champion Stakes is Betfred Dante runner-up and the subsequent Irish Derby winner, Jack Hobbs.
You could land a jackpot at Britain’s richest ever raceday simply by following York form; take care because in some races you’ll face a choice of York winners.
On to my own rides today and tomorrow, you can follow me on Racing UK if you share my fancies.
I am at Haydock later to ride Flyman in the 2.35pm.
He ran a very decent race when fourth in the Ayr Bronze Cup. He will relish the softer under-hoof conditions. Then I’m off for a couple of rides at Wolverhampton’s evening card.
First Bombardment, in the 6.20pm maiden race, has been frustrating, especially after he got off to such a fine start when runner-up in the Brocklesby Stakes in the Spring. Hopefully, things might turn in his favour.
Flummoxed makes his debut with me in the 1.40pm at Catterick tomorrow. We like him at home and I’d be hopeful of a big run. Terhaal impressed a year ago when he won on his debut at Haydock, he has since come to David O’Meara’s yard. After a very long time off the track, he ran last month at Musselburgh and now needs to come on again in the 5.10pm handicap.
Though the turf season and column are drawing to an end, I will continue riding on the all-weather until Christmas time.
The new year sees the possibility of some horses from David O’Meara’s yard racing overseas, notably in Dubai, so that gives us something to look forward to as we ride out on dark mornings.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my York Racecourse-supported column this season,
I was proud to help the boss retain his Top Trainer title on Knavesmire for a third year.
Hopefully I’ve pointed you to the odd winner along the way – thank you for reading it.
Tickets for the 2016 season at York which begins on Wednesday, May 11 are already on sale, with a price freeze until the new year. Find out more about racing at the racecourse in 2016 at