It’s great to be back after such a frustrating time with my injured hand. I started riding out at David O’Meara’s yard earlier this week and the doctor says I’m fit to return to action.
As in all walks of life, racing has its ups and downs. Ryan Moore was injured in the starting stalls at Newmarket last week and he faces a period on the side-lines, while Connor Beasley had a really bad fall at Wolverhampton.
And the wonderful return of Brian Toomey, who was almost killed at Perth two years ago is an inspiration – good luck to him, he deserves it.
The first ride on my return is Watchable in the Group 3 race at 3.10pm at Newbury. He’s working well at home and I am confident that I have a decent chance on a horse that was runner-up in a race at the same grade at Newmarket in the spring.
That’s my one ride at the Berkshire track. I drop into Haydock on my way home to North Yorkshire to partner Penitent in the 7.55pm conditions contest. He likes the track but has been a little out of form of late. If he can get back to his best, he could go close.
Before I run through some of David O’Meara’s other runners today and tomorrow, a mention for my colleague Phillip Makin, who enjoyed a four-timer at York at the John Smith’s Cup meeting. His quartet included two for David which I had highlighted last week – Birdman and Out Do – plus the feature £150,000 race itself on Master Carpenter.
It was great for the Naunton yard – and richly deserved by Phillip.
While I didn’t miss the winners had I been fit to return to action last weekend, I would have been on board G Force in the July Cup at Newmarket.
Twenty-hour hours earlier, the yard was celebrating another famous Group 1 success, the third in under a year. That was Amazing Maria in the QIPCO Falmouth Stakes on the July Course.
Back to the present though …
Shahdaroba clearly likes the track at Nottingham after two victories there in the last 12 months. She might win again in today’s 4.35pm handicap.
Eccleston won for me at Haydock in May. I think the track at Hamilton this evening, where he goes in the Scottish Stewards’ Cup at 7.40pm, will suit him – and the forecast rain will help.
Tomorrow, the greater number of David O’Meara runners are at Ripon which launches the eighth annual Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival.
Hit The Jackpot won for me at the ‘Garden Racecourse’ last year and he was first last time out at Ayr so he must have a chance in the 3.55pm handicap. The yard has three in the race and Sheriff Of Nawton is in good form too, having won twice in his last three races for Josh Doyle, who is in the saddle again tomorrow.
Primogeniture is finally getting his act together, evidenced by his narrow runner-up spot at York seven days ago. He really is due a win now and runs in the 4.30pm handicap.
The Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival carries on all next week which includes two days of racing at York on Friday evening and Saturday.
Sir Tom Jones is performing so I’m glad as a jockey I have a ticket as they’re selling fast.
It’s a splendid event that promotes the sport in the county. I’m delighted to be back riding again and I’ll be hoping for a few winners during the week.
The next racing at York is the Music Showcase Weekend on Friday July 24-25. Sir Tom Jones will be performing after racing next Friday – with stand side enclosure tickets selling quickly.
After racing on Saturday, Scouting For Girls are performing – a band that becomes the first to return to Knavesmire after a huge crowd enjoyed their visit in 2011.
Find out more and book tickets at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk