Here’s hoping for a birthday winner
20 April 2017
Racing UK ambassador Paul Mulrennan tells us about his weekend rides, his link with 1000 Guineas hope Talaayeb and a couple of horses to look out for
I rode a personal best of 106 winners last season, but I think that will be very hard to beat this year.
For starters, trying to win another Group 1 will be very hard without the wonderful Mecca’s Angel, who has been retired and is in foal to the great Galileo – she’ll surely produce the perfect miler, won’t she?
I barely got a suspension last campaign, remained injury free, which is a blessing for any jockey. I am obviously on the lookout for a good Saturday horse at this stage of the season, but 100 winners would be some achievement and is my target.
This Saturday, I have three decent rides and Kings Gift looks the classiest of the them. He runs in the JLT Greenham Stakes, which looks a very hot race.
Godolphin have got two, and Saeed Bin Suroor’s Dream Castle looked good at Doncaster. Aidan O’Brien has also started the season in good form and brings over the dual winner War Secretary. Then there is Richard Hannon’s maiden winner Barney Roy and Sir Michael Stoute’s Zainholm.
That is some line-up. Still, Kings Gift is a lovely horse who improved throughout last season. His one blip was at Newmarket, where the ground was far too quick for him. He will handle good ground, but not much quicker.
I know the going at Newbury is currently good to firm, but April ground is hardly July good to firm so I think he will be fine.
He has improved mentally and physically throughout the winter. He is potentially a nice horse and we are testing the water with him. I’m looking forward to the run and we are all dreaming at this stage of the season.
He is owned by Geoff and Sandra Turnbull, who now have Elwick Stud in the north. They have been big supporters of mine, and have horses with trainers like Kevin Ryan and David O’Meara, who trained their Mondialiste to international success.
I have picked up a great spare in Richard Fahey’s Another Touch, who goes in the Be Wiser Insurance Spring Cup. He showed good form last season in big handicaps and should have blown away the cobwebs last time at Doncaster when drawn in the middle.
My last ride is on the way home up the M6 at Wolverhampton, where my agent, Richard Hale, has got me on board Mick Easterby’s Melgate Melody.
Mick has his stable in fine form, and he has had over ten winners in the past 14 days.
It’s my birthday on Saturday, so going to Wolverhampton better be worth it – Richard was in a bullish mood when he called me up to tell me he had booked me.
1,000 Guineas watch:
I saw that Talaayeb had a racecourse gallop at Newmarket on Thursday, and looking at the Racinguk.com replay she did it in some style.
I rode her in her only start when she beat Neshmeya in a maiden at Newmarket in September.
I was on her because Paul Hanagan had elected to ride the favourite, but I have a good record on Sheikh Hamdan’s horses and I thought she was a very smart filly.
I don’t remember having to give her a smack and I think she will run a big race in the Qipco 1000 Guineas on Sunday fortnight.
The other good horse I have ridden or Sheikh Hamdan was the sprinter Markaz, who was a full brother to Mecca’s Angel.
If Talaayeb wins, it would be nice to have played a tiny part in a Classic winner.
I’ve ridden a few decent horses in the last few days. The hardiest of them has to be Proud Archi, who did it really well at Beverley.
This is a gelding who is as tough as nails and he showed a great attitude. Looking at his pedigree, he is by Archipenko out of an Elusive Quality mare called Baharah and he should get a mile. He is owned by a syndicate called Eagle Racing, which is a group of about ten lads who were local to the course. They all looked to have a great day out.
The other one that is definitely worth a mention is Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Redicean, who won his maiden at Redcar about ten days ago. He won over 10 furlongs and looks a smart type.