At the two day Armstrong Group Temple Stakes at Haydock Park last week, I had a surprisingly good couple of days. I had seven rides on the Friday so it felt good to be in every race and to win the first two races of the card. The 2 yr old, Finniston Farm performed very well, had a really nice manner about him. A lot of Tom’s horses have been improving this season for their first runs so I thought it was great he was able to win first time out, I really look forward to riding him in the future.
On the Saturday morning, I experienced the ITV Opening Show for the first time – I really enjoyed it and although a little nervous, I think it went well! I won my first two rides on Temple Stakes Day, a day which attracted nice competitive racing and decent prize money. I rode some very talented horses over that weekend and if I could do that every weekend I would be delighted, it was nice to pick up a decent couple of races.
Looking ahead to the racing on the weekend, on Friday I have three rides at Wolverhampton before I head to Haydock Park for the evening. My best ride of the night looks to be Red Force One who ran a lovely race at York a couple of weeks ago. I possibly sat on him a bit too long. But it felt like a fine race so I am very hopeful he can get his head in front in the 6f novices stakes on Friday night.
My next ride is La Celebs Ville in the 1m Handicap, the 4 yr old was a little frustrating last year but she won last time out at Haydock and this race should suit her. Tom has 3 runners in this and I am confident the way the race will run will suit her.
Golden Glimmer is running in the 7f Fillies’ Handicap, she struggled since winning at Chester and it’s her first time out this year, so I am not too sure what to expect from her, but we will see!
The entries are looking good for Saturday, they all love the soft ground apart from Arc Royal so it is looking hopeful with the current going and weather planned across the next few days.
Targeted at the Dash Handicap, Reflektor should have a good run. He has shown a lot of strength in all his runs and always gives his best, this is a horse that has been waiting for the soft ground so fingers crossed he has a good start out the blocks.
Hillbilly Boy is entered in the Betway John of Gaunt Stakes, Tom and I was really happy with his first run at Chester and his preparation for the race wasn’t 100% so we were really pleased with the way he ran. He is a solid, genuine horse who you can rely on to run his best.
It’s hard to say how Arc Royal will get on as he has only run once on slow ground and has been mostly race on good or, quick ground so it is difficult to say. He was in a hot 7f race finishing fourth at Haydock a couple of weeks ago and I was quite pleased with him, so we will see how he gets on Saturday.
This is my tenth year riding for Tom Dascombe, as his jockey, so we must get on pretty well to manage 10 years! Tom and I have a very good relationship, I tell him what I’m thinking and vica versa! With a close knit group of owners who are very supportive of myself and Tom that massively helps.
My season started off very well and then it levelled a little bit at the beginning of May - I had a couple of frustrating second place finishes in some big races but it’s all in the nature of the sport. Tom has a very strong bunch of horses this year and some are taking a little bit of time to show their best so I am very hopeful the latter part of the year will be very good. I always enjoy coming to Haydock Park a course I have had a lot of winners at so I always look forward to coming to the track.
Tickets are still available so make sure you do not miss out this weekend by purchasing your tickets online at haydock.thejockeyclub.co.uk or by telephone on 0344 579 3006. For enquiries about private hospitality, call 01942 402 624. Also make the most of an exclusive County Enclosure badge for Saturday – Book 6 badges in advance at £31.50 and receive a FREE bottle of house champagne on arrival!
This Saturday British DJ and Capital FM host, Anton Powers is heading to the Lancashire track for a mega “Party in the Paddock” after racing. As part of the TENsational Saturday series, Anton will getting your night started with the latest hits and remixes straight after the last race at 5.30pm.