AUTHOR: Star Sports Content


It’s great to be back after a brief spell on the sidelines following my fall at Chelmsford. I had plenty of physio over the weekend at Peter O’Sullevan House in Newmarket and I’m delighted to say that I am now pain free.

I had my first rides back at Sandown on Wednesday and it was a buzz to be back despite feeling a little rusty.

I was back at Sandown on Thursday and it was great to win the big Listed race on Dance In The Grass for Charlie and Mark Johnston. The filly finished really strongly for me and is now two from two, both wins coming at Sandown, and she remains a really exiting prospect.

Anyway, we have a big weekend to look forward to with the King George meeting at Ascot and three nice rides to look forward to…



ORBAAN – 3.00pm (Moet & Chandon International Stakes)

No surprise to see a big field of 22 line up for the International Stakes where I partner Orbaan for David O’Meara. I won a couple of races on him as a three-year-old in France when he was trained by Andre Fabre, so it will be great to be reunited some four years later. He appears to be in good form for the O’Meara team having been placed in competitive handicaps on all three of his last starts. This looks an event hotter contest, but he has a nice racing weight and must have a chance. Obviously Dark Shift looks the one to beat on the back of his Royal Hunt Cup win. He goes so well at Ascot and bounces off this ground.

3.35pm (King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes)

Sadly, no ride for me in the King George but it looks a cracking field of six. Between them they have won an Arc, a Saudi Cup, a Coronation Cup and Irish Derby not to mention countless other Group Ones. Westover looks the obvious one on the back of his win in Ireland last time and his huge three-year-old allowance. However, I’d still side with Mishriff (pictured below) despite the big weight. He’s remarkably already won over £11 million in prize money and was a bit unlucky in the Coral-Eclipse last time. He will love the fast ground and should take all the beating.

COASE – 4.45pm (Porsche Handicap)

It was nice to pick up the ride on Coase in the Porsche Handicap for Michael Wigham. I’ve not partnered him before but see he is back down to the mark from which he was a close second to Via Serendipity at Sandown last month. He appears to be suited to one mile on fast ground so could upset a few of the more fancied runners here. Tempus was a good third in the Royal Hunt Cup and should go well again despite shouldering a huge weight.

KING OF STARS – 5.20pm (Garrard Handicap)

I’m really looking forward to getting back on King Of Stars (pictured below) in the last. He’s very speedy when conditions are in his favour and that looks to be the case here with the forecast fast ground and smallish field. I’ve ridden him twice before, winning nicely at Yarmouth at the back end of last season and when a narrow second to Twilight Calls at last year’s July meeting trying to give him 5lbs. If he reproduces either of those runs he should be very competitive here.