It was so pleasing to see Hamza represent our yard with such credit when finishing third in the Prix de l’Abbaye in Paris last weekend.
I partnered him a few times last year and got a real buzz out of riding him as I always thought an awful lot of him and he always gives every race 100 per cent, so it was great to see him back running at his best.
Treve was an impressive winner of ‘The Arc’, but I couldn’t help but feel for Frankie Dettori, the retained rider for her owner, because he missed his 27th consecutive ride in the big race and what would have been his fourth win, after breaking his ankle at Nottingham a few days before.
As professional sportspeople, you can’t consider the risk of injury or you would never do your job and as I know only too well, falls and consequent injuries are part and parcel of the game.
Nevertheless, there is a sense of ‘missing the best bits’ when you watch a horse that you have ridden in the past come home in front while you are on the sidelines with injury.
Having seen Bogart win at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival, I understood what Frankie would have been going through last Sunday, but that’s racing and it happens and he will get back on the filly again when he’s recovered.
The Flat season at York comes to a close with a two-day meeting today and tomorrow. We’ll be aiming to add to our tally of eight winners on Knavesmire this year.
We have a quintet of horses racing on the turf at York and Newmarket tomorrow afternoon.
I have to be biased because two of my favourites that I ride every day are racing.
One is Astaire who runs at Newmarket in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes.
He has had a super season and he has done us very proud, winning three out of four starts, the latest being the Group 2 Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes at the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival.
He goes into tomorrow’s race in great form and hopefully he can top the season off because one couldn’t wish to meet nicer owners.
Neil Callan rides Astaire, while Jamie Spencer partners our other representative Hot Streak who has shown great qualities with two victories at York, including the Listed Julia Graves Roses Stakes at the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival.
My other favourite running tomorrow is Online Alexander in the Listed coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes at 2.55pm at York.
She is a real sweetheart and, although she is small, she has the heart of a lioness.
She improved greatly from her first run to win impressively at Beverley on her second. I rate this filly a lot and hope she will run well tomorrow.
Our other two runners at York are Bogart and King Kurt.
Bogart has course form at York and seems to like the track. It’s another big York handicap at 3.30pm – the Coral Sprint Trophy worth £75,000 – and they are always ultra-competitive and very tough to win, but he is in good heart.
King Kurt will be our final runner at York this year when he goes for the Coral Backing Macmillan Cancer Support Stakes at 4.40pm.
He has been running consistently this season and perhaps the latest run over hurdles at Perth Racecourse might have sweetened him up as he loves schooling at home.
I hope readers have enjoyed my column as much as I have enjoyed compiling it.
What an exciting year 2013 has proven to be at York Racecourse – and I’m sure the crowds will give it a good send-off tomorrow as the Corps of Drums of the Coldstream Guards bring the season to a conclusion.
The final racing of the year at York Racecourse is Countryside Day today and then tomorrow when musicians from the Coldstream Guards will bring down the curtain.
The feature races include the Coral Sprint Trophy and Listed coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes. Prices today are £13 and £24 in the grandstand and paddock and county stand respectively.
Tomorrow, it is £18 and £29. More information can be obtained at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk