Hayley - Lark can hit the right notes!
16 May 2013
A lot of bubbles are burst this time of the year. Everyone has been holding their breath all winter and it’s make-or-break time, particularly for a lot of lightly-raced three-year-olds. Only so many can keep the dream alive after May.
Lark should be on song for Friday
The Lark is in that mould. She won her maiden at her second attempt last year and reappears in the Swettenham Stud Fillies’ Trial Stakes at Newbury on Friday – a race I won last year on Momentary.
She is unexposed, goes well at home and is a filly we are keen on. However, it does look a good race with Valtina and Winsili similarly inexperienced and it’s difficult to know where you are until you get on the track.
I am dashing to Newmarket afterwards to ride Jadesnumberone in the mile and a half fillies’ maiden. She ran well to finish second on her debut at the track in October before making a quick reappearance there in a Listed race.
I think it came a bit too soon for her and she felt a bit over the top. I’ve ridden her – and against her – at home and she feels a much stronger filly than last year. Hopefully she can really kick on this year for her owner, Sir Alex Ferguson, who we will no doubt see more of on the racecourse now that he's retired, which is great for the sport.
Patient approach can pay off for Hallelujah
On Saturday I am at Newbury and am hoping the ground is no faster than good for Hallelujah. Her trainer James Fanshawe’s horses are coming to themselves and he has been very patient with this mare, who was entered up to run earlier in the season. I think this six-furlong handicap looks the ideal opportunity for her and she should go close.
Azrur won first time out and hasn’t beaten a horse since. He’s been disappointing and there have been no real excuses. We haven’t lost faith as he’s got ability and hopefully we’ll see it again in this 10-furlong handicap.
I’ve not got a ride in the JLT Lockinge, but Aidan O’Brien clearly means business by bringing over a pacemaker. I saw Declaration Of War has only been beaten once in his six starts and was cut across the boards as soon as the bookies opened betting on the race. He looks the one to beat.
Looking further ahead, I’d definitely keep an eye on Riskit Fora Biskit at Windsor on Monday. She’s a pocket rocket who shows plenty of early speed and could be hard to peg back.
I’m sweet on Banoffee
We’ve had plenty of trials over the last fortnight and the one which took my eye the most was Banoffee, who won the Cheshire Oaks on her second start. She won despite not handling the track and having plenty of ground to make up. I’d take note if she is supplemented for the Oaks.
Rocket lit up my week
Finally, I think the highlight of my week came at the Legends Snooker tournament on Sunday. I got to meet one of my heroes, Ronnie O’Sullivan, last Sunday, who signed a piece of the baize for me. It’s now taking pride of place on the mantelpiece!
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