I ride out once a week at George’s and I rode Inshiraah when she won at Wolverhampton last month.
She has gone up 6lb for her narrow victory over Gymnaste at Newmarket. I think that is quite harsh, but at least the third that day, On Her Toes, was a fair way back and she won the Listed race at Ascot on Friday.
She faces a shortish turnaround but I really don’t think that will be a problem. Mark Johnston’s horses run off two-week breaks all the time. We all know that in the old days horses used to run more frequently, but I think that was because there were fewer opportunities. Trainers prefer to wait for the right opening now, and there are plenty of those.
Inshiraah is a consistent sort – she has yet to be out of the first three in any of her five runs. This is a competitive seven-runner race but I expect her to go close.
Oh So Sassy would have a chance in the Adnams East Coast Vodka Handicap Chase.
She is the top-rated runner in the five-furlong contest and should have conditions to suit.
Pacify had looked to have gone off the boil since he finished second in May last season but ran an encouraging race last time at Sandown.
He was only three and a quarter lengths adrift and didn’t get the easiest of passages so I’m hopeful in the Adnams Broadside Handicap. He looked to be in that Twilight Zone with his mark of 102 – not quite good enough to break in to proper Group company but in the grip of the handicapper.
Owned by Prince Charles and the Duchess Of Cornwall, he will be joint-topweight alongside Great Hall and might now be weighted more realistically for what looks a competitive race.
It’s hard to know what to make of Slipstream, who makes his debut in the Adnams Southwold Bitter EBF Stallions Novice Stakes.
What we do know is that the son of Invincible Spirit cost €420,000 at the Arqana August Yearling Sale last August. Trainer George Scott is having a good season with his juveniles and has sent out six winners from just 22 runners in 2017 at a strike-rate of 27%. That at least gives me a good feeling.
My other two rides probably need to step up their game if they are going to make an impression. Rich And Famous won at Doncaster over six furlongs in April, but was dropped back to five furlongs for his next two starts. He was switched back to six last time, and was beaten by nearly eight lengths. The gelded son of Bernardini stays at six furlongs for the Adnams Sole Star Handicap.
White Tower probably has Godolphin’s Don’t Give Up and Roger Varian’s To Dibba to contend with in the Adnams Innovation Handicap.
On Sunday I travel over to Germany to ride Air Pilot in the Group One Grosser Dallmayr-Preis - Bayerisches Zuchtrennen.
The ten furlongs on good to soft ground will suit him. He will probably lke the long straight in Hamburg, too, so we’ll see. Godolphin run Prize Money and Best Solution. I rode Prize Money every day in Dubai in morning trackwork. He was good enough to beat Postponed in Dubai, but he is a horse who has been on the go for a while.
Last week: __ I rode two really good ones last week and __Defoe could even have Classic potential after he scored over 1m3f at Hamilton last week. He is really nice horse who had a good attitude and he is straightforward both before and during the race. He is genuine and has a real engine and is a strong finisher. He is the full package, basically. It was drying good going at Hamilton and was similar when I won on him at York last time. I think he would like it softer than that, but clearly handled it. I really don’t think the St Leger is out of the question and I think he will stay. I’ve ridden St Leger-type horses before – I won the Lillie Langtry on Simple Verse, and I think Defoe is going the right way.
I thought Ballard Down was an interesting runner last week and so it proved – he won really well at 16-1 in a competitive Newmarket handicap. Horses such as Master The World, Zwayyan and Temple Church followed him home, so it was a fair level of form. Watch out for him in any handicap over a mile on soft ground. He’s won at tight Wolverhampton and Newmarket’s July course so he is clearly versatile.
_We all want a holiday at some point: _ Lastly, I would like to lend my support to the holiday for jockeys concept. It is unlikely to affect me, because usually I am in Qatar and Dubai during the winter but it is a very good idea. Some jockeys ride almost every single day, with only time off courtesy of the stewards. As a freelance, you clearly don’t want to turn down rides and nobody should be expected to be working all of the time. It would also give stable staff and trainers some respite, too. It’s certainly worthy of consideration.