Hayley - hopes high for Derby Day
31 May 2012
What a whirlwind week it’s been!
The fantastic news that I’ve got a ride in the Derby has well and truly propelled me into the spotlight, and I’ve been inundated with requests from the media for interviews.
I can’t wait until Saturday, obviously, but I need to keep my eye on the ball this week and make sure I’m 110 percent focused on my job – which is giving horses the best rides I can, and ultimately riding as many winners as I can.
A good show at Goodwood
Goodwood was a happy place for me last week, riding Primaeval and Life And Soul to victory. I mentioned in last week’s blog that connections thought Life And Soul had a great deal of talent and so it proved, although it was close, as he edged home by a short-head and had to survive a lengthy stewards’ enquiry. It was his first win for two years so I’m glad the result stood!
The margin was even closer at Lingfield that evening as Triple Home won by a nose, and then I had a mad dash to Nottingham see the legend that is Carl Froch pulverise Lucian Bute. It was a great night and again I proved spot on in predicting that Carl would have too much power!
Looking back at the week, Tuesday didn’t start too well as I got beaten on two hot favourites and I hold my hands up, in saying that the ride I gave Fortieth And Fifth wasn’t my best. He met a lot of trouble in running, and we couldn’t find a way out.
The day ended really brightly though for me, as I won Sportswoman of the Year at the Glamour Awards. To receive the award from Freddie Flintoff and finish in front of the likes of Rebecca Adlington and Jessica Ennis was something else, and I am still not quite sure how it happened!
If I wasn’t fully appreciative of just how big the awards are before the event, then I certainly was afterwards, with the likes of Kylie Minogue, Eva Longoria, Jessie J, Kelly Rowland, Jessica Alba, Holly Willoughby and Amanda Holden– some of the most iconic women around – all there.
I never thought I would meet someone like Kylie – someone I grew up listening to – but my sister certainly wasn’t shell-shocked as she asked her whether she’d ever considered becoming a jockey!
Anyway, that’s in the past now and the focus is firmly on Epsom.
Camelot seems to have scared off the opposition in the Derby with only nine runners lining up. Obviously I am thrilled the field is the smallest for over 100 years, as I’m sure all the jockeys are. The less runners, the better your chance.
However, Camelot looks bombproof. He’s never been beaten, and won the two stiffest tests en route to the Derby, the Racing Post Trophy and the (QIPCO) 2,000 Guineas.
I think the extra half-mile will work in his favour and he is trained by the right person in Aidan O’Brien. I think we could all be playing for second place.
I won on Cavaleiro at Chepstow last season and monitored his progress with interest since. He went on to win one of the most notable two-year-old races of the season, the Haynes, Hanson & Clark and then I don’t think the all-weather suited him at all last time in the Lingfield Derby trial.
He's quite a strong traveller and I think he's the sort of horse that will suit Epsom. I know Racing UK will refund all annual subscriptions if I win a Group 1 in the UK this season, but I will be going some to do it on Saturday!
That said, 10 days ago Marcus Tregoning said he felt Cavaleiro could finish in the top six, but I don’t think we’d settle for fifth or six now. I can’t wait until 4pm on Saturday and to be part of the whole occasion is a dream come true.
Creme can rise to the top
Of my other rides at Epsom, keep an eye on Creme Anglaise in the (Investec) 10-furlong handicap on Friday. We’ve always rated her and she is a much stronger and wiser filly this year. She showed she’s certainly going the right way with her third in a Listed race last time, and I think she’ll still come on for that, while Forceful Appeal has been good to me, supplying me with a hat-trick earlier in the year, and it would be no surprise to see him in the frame in the Investec Mile Handicap.
Open Water is a very interesting runner in the opening handicap on Saturday. I’ve never ridden him before but he ran a very encouraging run on his seasonal debut at Newmarket, and Andrew’s horses are in great form. Just before the Derby, don’t write off Diamond Charlie in the Dash. He’s a course and distance winner and that counts for a lot here.
Wish me luck!