I have a series of cracking rides at Ascot and Longchamp tomorrow and on Sunday.
After a day off yesterday, I’m in the saddle just once this afternoon at the Berkshire track but things step up several gears tomorrow.
While travelling for good rides is never a problem, I will also look forward to Friday and Saturday next week when I get quality rides and less travelling as it is the last two days of York’s season.
Smarty Socks, who is a good old veteran at the age of 10, runs in a handicap at 2pm today. Like all of us, he’s not getting any younger. Hopefully, he can recapture some of his form which has seen him win four times on Knavesmire over the years.
Tomorrow, the Group 3 at 3.15pm sees me on board David O’Meara’s Louis The Pious, who comes out again after his super victory in the Ayr Gold Cup last month. James Doyle was doing the steering that day, while I witnessed his victory further down the field on Watchable.
So he is coming into tomorrow’s contest over the same six-furlong distance in tremendous form. The blinkers being applied have certainly helped him a great deal and, touch wood, they will assist him again at a track at which he won the Buckingham Palace Stakes over a furlong further during the Royal Meeting in June.
Highland Acclaim was an Ayr Gold Cup runner, too. He is my mount in the totepool Challenge Cup Heritage Handicap 35 minutes later.
He is another horse in good form, having rattled up victories at York in the Charles Henry Memorial Stakes in June, at Newmarket and at Ascot this season.
That’s an impressive CV for 2014 and bodes well for tomorrow’s race over seven furlongs. The wins have come over a furlong less, so I’m aiming for more success over a slightly longer trip. Highland Acclaim, who will certainly stay the extra 220 yards, wouldn’t be the easiest horse to ride but he has ability and is going the right way. I will be producing him late in the race.
York form is a feature of most of my rides this weekend – and none more so than my mount in the Listed totepool October Stakes at 4.25pm.
I take the reins on Dutch Rose, a special mare who has rattled up a quartet of victories since the summer of 2012 on Knavesmire. She’s been going up in the weights, and that’s not surprising considering where she’s shown her best form. There’s no reason why she shouldn’t run a big race tomorrow.
It’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend, so I’m off to Paris and the Bois de Boulogne on Sunday. Hopefully, it will prove as successful as my last trip abroad to Irish Champions Weekend.
With my Group 1 winner G Force waiting for QIPCO British Champions Day, I will be in the saddle on Move In Time for the Prix de l’Abbaye sprint down the centre of the Longchamp track.
He is an experienced horse with six victories to his name. He went oh so close to breaking his York duck when short-headed into second place in the Symphony Group Stakes during the Ebor Festival.
He was only half-a-length adrift of the winner in his next outing. That was at Longchamp in the middle of last month at the trials meeting.
Move In Time will not be among the market leaders, but he will not be without a chance either. Of course, for those punters fancying a bet on him, it is always best to shop around for the best price with both British bookmakers and the Pari-mutuel, which sometimes offers more generous odds on horses from this side of the channel.
I will be at York’s final meetings of 2014 on Friday and Saturday next week. I need at least one winner – probably more – to successfully defend my title as top York jockey.
I look forward to seeing Yorkshire Post readers at York tomorrow week. I understand the course is helping to celebrate the paper’s anniversary with a special two-for-one offer in the Grandstand and Paddock enclosure.
The next racing at York is the last two days of the season. Countryside Day is on Friday, October 10, while the closing fixture of the year on Saturday features the Coral Sprint Trophy. Further details at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk.