I can’t tell you how thrilled I was with an excellent time north of the border last weekend.
Wins on Mass Rally and Melody Of Love at Ayr Racecourse were fantastic.
The former really showed why form at Knavesmire – with his runner-up spot in the Symphony Group Stakes during the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival – always has to be respected.
For two of my regular trainers, Michael Dods and Ann Duffield, the victories were ‘good days at the office’. I was delighted for them.
The pickings for me were slightly thin in the couple of days that followed and fixtures have been lost because of the dreadful wet weather too, but I’ll be endeavouring to get the flow of winners going again soon.
Today sees me completing a double-header – Haydock Park this afternoon followed by all-weather fare at Wolverhampton. Then it’s Chester tomorrow and the possibility of an evening ride back in the Black County in the evening.
I kick off this afternoon on board Newmarket trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Authora in the 2.30pm race at the Merseyside track.
The filly got her head in front for the first time at Yarmouth Racecourse last month and was then placed under champion jockey Paul Hanagan at Thirsk a fortnight later. She’s had a little break which I hope will benefit her this afternoon.
Peter Chapple-Hyam has booked me to ride for him twice so far this season and I have managed to win both races. I will be aiming to keep that 100 per cent partnership record intact this afternoon.
My first ride at Wolves this evening is on board another of Ann Duffield’s horses. Indieslad goes in the 6.15pm race. He hasn’t won for a couple of years, but I rode him into a runner-up spot a month ago at the Midlands all-weather track. Tonight he drops into selling company and that would certainly give him an opportunity of finding his way back into the winners enclosure once again.
Saturday sees me off to The Roodee where I reckon York Racecourse’s joint leading trainer of 2012 Tim Easterby’s Clockmaker wouldn’t be without a chance in the 3.30pm race.
He likes the tight bends around Chester and proved that when winning for me there just over a fortnight ago.
Gabrial The Great, trained by Michael Bell in Newmarket, has won twice this season.
He was last seen out when finishing mid-division in the Betfred Melrose Stakes at York Racecourse last month.
As with any handicap on Knavesmire, that was a highly competitive race with pundits watching out for pointers to the St Leger. Guarantee won that afternoon for Yorkshireman-in-exile William Haggas.
I would say that Gabrial The Great might benefit from the switch back to 10 furlongs tomorrow, the distance over which he won his seasonal debut at Newcastle in the spring.
My potential mount tomorrow evening is in the 8.25pm race at Wolverhampton.
It’s Azrag for trainer Gerard Butler. I won on the horse on the track earlier this month and he came out quickly again to be second at Kempton Park.
He was engaged last night at Wolves and, as I am writing my column before the result of that race is known, it is not clear what the running plans are.
Yesterday morning the yard did declare him for the race and, if he has done well last night, he could very well be in action again tomorrow. It’s very busy at the moment, but we are now entering the closing weeks of the Flat season and racing opportunities are fewer during October.
That doesn’t stop us looking forward though to the final two days of the season at York Racecourse on Friday, October 12 and Saturday 13, the richest ever finale on Knavesmire with £250,000 in prize-money.
The final two days of the Flat racing season at York are Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13. The races include the Listed Coral Rockingham Stakes and the Coral Sprint Trophy. New for 2012 is Countryside Raceday on the Friday with a showcase of rural activity and products. Admission on Friday is £5, £13 or £24; on Saturday it’s £6, £17 or £28. Early bird and group discounts are available booked in advance. Accompanied under-16s are admitted free of charge to all areas. More information at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk or by calling 01904 620 911.