IT was fantastic to have two winners at Kempton Park two nights ago and extend my lead in the jockeys’ title race. It felt like an ‘away’ win – even if the drive back north through lots of road works was a drag.
Over the next two days, I will be aiming to stretch my advantage over my weighing room colleagues Silvestre De Sousa, who is suspended today, and Kieren Fallon, who lies third.
It was on Town Moor in Doncaster on the final day of the 2010 Flat racing season almost 12 months ago that I captured the title, and I return there this afternoon before heading to the all-weather floodlit track at Wolverhampton for evening racing. I’ll be repeating the same route tomorrow.
I have 20 rides over the next two days, and I’ll be hoping to notch two or three winners.
My best chance at Doncaster today could be Kaldoun Kingdom, who ran a fabulous race to finish second in the Coral Sprint Trophy just under a fortnight ago at York where he’s been a regular runner. Were he to repeat that kind of form, he would have an excellent chance in the 3.45pm race.
Hopefully, the roads won’t be too busy on the way to the West Midlands where I highlight the potential of Know No Fear (6.50pm) and Resplendent Ace (7.20pm).
Know No Fear has been knocking on the door on Wolverhampton’s all-weather track, while Resplendent Ace won there a couple of runs ago. Both would have decent chances.
Tomorrow, Marine Commando (2pm) would be my best chance at Doncaster. As a former Royal Ascot winner, he’s always going to be a special horse to me. He ran at the Ebor Festival and has since been runner-up at Town Moor before winning at Haydock Park last time. I think tomorrow’s race is between my fellow and Excel Bolt.
I then have less than two hours to make it to Wolverhampton.
I would mention Docs Legacy in the 6.55pm race if he repeats his placed form at Beverley two runs ago. However, my best chance of the night would definitely be Haadeeth. He won a race for apprentice jockeys on the same track a week ago, and has a fine opportunity to follow up in the final race at 9.20pm.
Followers of racing will be more than aware of the current controversy over the new rules for whip use by jockeys.
We are all hoping that the issues can be resolved between the British Horseracing Authority and the Professional Jockeys’ Association.
There could be developments today because the BHA board has asked for a report back from its review group following a meeting with the PJA last Monday.
As jockeys, we completely understand that it is important we convey the right message about horse welfare to the wider public. Let’s hope that things can be sorted out.
Racing has finished for 2011 at York and returns on May 16. Visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk to find out the 17 fixtures. Ticket prices are frozen at this year’s rates until January.