It has been a hectic week and a half in the Godolphin jockey ranks, with William Buick's injury at the Arlington Million in Chicago very much on our minds.
Will is a great mate. We have been great friends since he first came over from Norway as a little lad. We are close. I couldn't have a better 'stablemate' at Godolphin.
I speak to Will every day, as a matter of our normal routine, and I can report that he is in good spirits despite the horrible fall and the back injury that came with it. We had lunch together last week, and I know that if I happen to win a couple of races at this week's Ebor Meeting at York, he will be genuinely happy for me.
It will ease the pain, just a little, while he is on the sidelines.
My best ride of the week, and highest-profile mount, is Barney Roy in the Group 1 Juddmonte International, the feature on Wednesday, and what an exciting ride he is. As a professional jockey, you throw your leg across a variety of horses, all shapes and sizes, of different ability.
So, when you strike an outstanding one such as Barney Roy, you count the days until you are back in the saddle, riding him again. His most impressive attribute is his length of stride. The amount of ground he can cover in just one bound is enormous. That’s why York's Knavesmire will play to his strengths.
Barney Roy hit every ridge going when pipped by Ulysses at Sandown
When Barney Roy finished a close second to Ulysses in the Group One Coral-Eclipse at Sandown last month, he hit every ridge in the track wrong. The very nature of the Sandown course was a major concern before the race. The undulations make it hard for a young horse such as 'Barney' to stretch out fully. But York is nice and flat. I believe he will love it.
It is a very strong field for this year's Juddmonte. No wonder it is such an important race in the calendar and consistently produces highly-rated winners.
It is hard to pinpoint one who shouldn't be there. It is a cracker of a race in prospect. I have ridden in the Juddmonte only once before, when I was third on Al Kazeem behind Declaration Of War in 2013. It would be great to be in the winner's enclosure this time, and I believe 'Barney' can get me there.