Reid praises Barzalona ride
Sunday 16 September 2012
St Leger-winning rider John Reid believes Mickael Barzalona is "a bit special" after the 21-year-old became the sixth different jockey to land the Doncaster Classic for Godolphin.
Barzalona took the plaudits on 25-1 shot Encke while another young star, Joseph O'Brien, 19, had to suffer defeat on the Triple Crown-seeking Camelot.
Reid took the 1998 renewal on Nedawi for Sheikh Mohammed's operation and retired as a professional 11 years ago after a highly successful career spanning nearly 30 years. He was back in action in the Leger Legends Stakes at Doncaster on Wednesday.
He said: "The St Leger is one of those races where you need a horse that specialises at that trip. Although I couldn't have fancied Encke beforehand the race went nicely for him. He was in a nice slot. It opened up for him at the right time and he got away from the field.
"It was always going to be hard to get it back from there no matter how good a horse you were on. He (Barzalona) is obviously a talented rider, there's no doubt about that. He's a kid, but he's ridden a Derby winner and done well in Dubai.
"I'm not quite sure he's a Frankie Dettori yet. Frankie looks after him, he has been there himself and knows what it's like. Godolphin are looking to the future and Barzalona has got something a bit special about him."
Reid had sympathy for the deflated O'Brien jnr and expects the son of trainer Aidan O'Brien to bounce straight back.
He went on: "He took a brave man's route down the inner. It's always difficult to do that and sometimes you are better out wide and coming down the outside. It didn't work out. The pacemaker (Dartford) came back and got in his way. He had to shift a bit and take a pull.
"No matter how good a horse is, some days maybe they are not quite as good as on other days. Once you start to have to ride and pull a horse out of his stride, if it's not a super horse on the day you can't get away with that.
"Sometimes you have to take chances and it's tricky. People might say you should have done this or that, but when you are out there it's a different world and you have to ride the race as you see it. If Camelot had been the horse we saw before, he probably would have got up to win."