We had a good weekend last weekend. Even though our horses didn’t come home in front, they still ran big races.
Black Corton was unbelievable in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby on Saturday.
I shouldn’t have been up there at the third fence. I shouldn’t have been up around his neck. But thankfully he must like me, he had every opportunity to get ride of me. Me hanging off his neck and trying to wriggle myself back into position. He just stayed straight and stayed with me. He’s a legend.
He ran a great race. It was his first run of the season, and he was up against a hardened pro in Definitly Red. He was a bit gung-ho in the beginning, he was a little bit fresh. And that incident didn’t help him obviously. You’ve got me, nine and a half stone, hanging around your neck for a while. Given a choice, whether to do that or not do that in a race, you’d definitely say don’t do it.
I try to remain as inconspicuous as I can in races.
Try to stay quiet. And without that episode, who knows? He might have got it done. You’ve got to believe in him. He stays and stays and stays again. But Definitly Red is a warrior, he knows his game, and Danny gave him the perfect ride. Blackie proved that he was worth his place in that company though.
Old Guard did make me work in the West Yorkshire Hurdle. He jumped a little big over a few hurdles, but he still ran massive to finish second to Nautical Nitwit.
The winner made a bit of a hash of the last, but he found a leg and he still beat us. We’ve run a good race though. And you can’t say that he didn’t stay three miles. We were having to work for so long, and we were still there at the finish. You should see a bit better from him too on slightly softer ground.
San Benedeto ran big in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter on Tuesday.
He had every chance going to the third last. He just tipped on his nose at that fence, and God’s Own and Ozzie The Oscar just had a gear on him. He ran a big race though and as he gets older, he might get further.
I can’t wait to ride Present Man in the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton on Saturday. Can lightning strike twice? I believe it can!
He was brilliant last year. It was here where it all started to get going for me last year really. He was there at the start, at the tip of the iceberg.
The ride he gave me last year. He did not miss a beat. To go more than three miles like that and not make a mistake. To be able to organise himself like he did and measure himself like he can at his fences. It was a magical day. It meant so much to his owners too, Mr and Mrs Woodhouse. They put so much into the game, and they put a lot of time into him.
P Man is in great order. His coat looks fantastic. He has top weight, but he is only 2lb higher in the handicap than he was last year. I’m sure he’ll give his all again, he’ll fly the flag, as he did last year. We’ll give it our best shot.
I ride Capeland in the conditional jockeys’ handicap chase. He ran a nice second at Fontwell last time with Harry behind Sizing Tennessee. He’s got 12st 1lb minus my 3lb, but he’s a strong horse. He’ll carry the weight fine.
I’m at Sandown on Sunday for three rides.
I start off with Zubayr in the opening conditional jockeys handicap hurdle. He’s got a great owner, Paul Vogt, who also owns Frodon and San Benedeto.
Zubayr has talent, he was only just beaten in the Scottish Champion Hurdle last year and he finished second in a handicap hurdle at Kempton in March, the day after Cheltenham.
He is a cheeky chap at home. He looks a bit punk rockerish, with his mane, and he has a bit of a swagger about him. A bit of attitude. That’s no harm. He has had a wind operation, and I hope that he can run well.
I ride Hollywood Ken in the handicap hurdle for Fiona Shaw. I won on him at Chepstow back in April. He won well that day. He travelled well for me.
He is up 9lb in the handicap, and he hasn’t run since, but I spoke with Fiona yesterday, and she says that he is in fantastic shape, that he has had a good holiday. It’s a big field and he is up in class, but he should run well.
Finally, I ride Huntsmans Jog in the bumper for Don Cantillon. I rode him to finish second to a filly of Nicky Henderson’s, Barbados Blue, at Warwick in May. He was just a bit babyish that day, but he ran well.
Don is very good with his horses, he gives them every chance. This fellow has been given loads of time now, and I’m sure he’ll be ready to run a race.