All the trumpets will be playing as the Lincoln meeting at Doncaster gets underway, this being the traditional curtain raiser to the turf season. However, it really doesn’t get going until we get Easter out of the way.
Whilst I haven’t been doing much on the track I’ve been doing plenty on the gallops and I have quite a few trainer’s to visit over the next few weeks too. I also had a trip to Helsinki to help promote Thoroughbred racing out there. They have long had harness racing in Finland but they are now looking to get into horse racing. They are building facilities out there now I’m led to believe.
I appeared on MTV3, which is Finland’s biggest commercial television channel, as it was during their breakfast show I had to be up early…and I tell you now, we think we’ve had it cold but boy was it freezing over there!
Following my trip to Finland I ended up with the flu which knocked me back for a bit, it also stopped me from going to Cheltenham on Champion Hurdle day, which was very annoying. It was great to see “the Hurricane” regain his crown as Champion Hurdler, even if it was only on the television.
I did go to Cheltenham on Gold Cup day though, so it was nice to see Bobs Worth charge up that hill to claim the prize for Nicky Henderson. There were quite a few highlight’s over the four days of the festival but one for me was when my good friend Brendan Powell won on Golden Chieftain for his boss Colin Tizzard. It was the first festival winner for Brendan and I’m sure it won’t be his last.
I ride at Kempton tonight and I have a book of five rides, which is very good and very welcome as it has been so quiet of late.
I don’t have anything that stands out but old Sherjawy will pop up one of these day’s and the three I ride for John Long could go well at prices. Chandrayaan was a welcome winner last month and hopefully, if I can get to the front on him, we can try to make all as we did when we won over a furlong shorter here two runs back. I also ride Hundred Acre Wood for Olivia, but he will come on for the experience with it being a case of first day at school for him.
I head back to Kempton on Thursday to ride my old friend Scottish Lake and he ran well last time for me over a mile. We are back to seven furlongs here, drawn well in stall one so hopefully we can jump and run. Al Khan is still well handicapped but we are two pounds lower than when we last won, so I hope we can go well.
Friday sees me at Doncaster for the Brocklesby and over the winter I’ve kept you posted about the Brendan Powell trained juvenile Brockholes Flyer. It really would be a dream start to the season if we can win in the season’s curtain raiser. A lot of the big stables are represented in the race but I’m happy with my fellow and I hope we can go well. After Doncaster I think I am heading to Wolverhampton before then driving down to Newmarket for riding out on Saturday morning.
I will be going in to Luca Cumani’s and James Toller’s to ride out and of those I have sat on already this “pre-season” I have liked how Luca’s Khione and Hippy Hippy Shake have wintered and I hope I can get on them sometime this season, as they are two that are worth following.
Here’s hoping for a decent few day’s.