Go can figure at Ascot:
Like a lot of connections, I'll be hoping the forecast rain comes before the time of the first race at 12.40pm at Ascot, as most of my mounts will appreciate some cut.
The feature race of the afternoon is the Sodexo Gold Cup Chase worth almost £60,000 to the winner and if the rain arrives I should have a good chance on Go Conquer. He’s a very good horse who ran well to finish fifth behind Un Temps Pour Tout in the Grade 3 Ultima Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
He was badly hampered next time at Aintree over the National fences in the Topham which was really frustrating. He was enjoying his race and jumping well when he was nearly brought to a standstill, but that’s what can happen over those fences.
He did nothing wrong when he won on his debut this season at Fontwell, and I’m really looking forward to getting back on board.
Other Ascot rides:
My first ride is in the Ascot Underwriting Chase at 1.50pm where I partner Duke Street for Dr Richard Newland. I haven’t ridden him for a while, but I won a good race on him at Newbury a couple of years ago when he beat Cobra De Mai by eight lengths.
Dr Newland's horses are running well, and Duke Street put in a solid performance to finish eighth in the Cesarewitch last month which hopefully will have sharpened him up.
Festive Affair is one of two decent rides I’ve got for Jonjo O’Neill. He had a good summer and picked up some decent prize-money for his owners, winning two of his last three starts, including last time at Uttoxeter over this trip. He’s stepping up in grade but I would be very hopeful that he will handle it well.
My Saturday rides finish with Kateson in the Thames Materials Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
He’s already won a Chepstow bumper when by all accounts he ran a bit green. It was his first time on a racecourse, so we can expect him to have learnt from that experience and hopefully he’ll run well.
Have belief in Beggars at Carlisle:
On Sunday I travel to Carlisle to ride Beggars Cross for Trevor Hemmings and Jonjo O’Neill in the Cumberland Handicap Chase.
He won over three miles on his seasonal reappearance at Warwick and although this represents a step up for him, he should be suited by the track and there’s no reason why he wouldn’t run well.
Frankie can light up Del Mar:
The only thing keeping me awake in between will be watching the Breeders’ Cup on Racing UK which is always great entertainment and I’ll be hoping the Europeans can put in a strong performance at Del Mar.
Given the form Frankie Dettori is in, I wouldn't be surprised if he was in the winner's circle at least once over the weekend.