Well, that’s what you call a good day at the office and it’s about time!😂 It was a real thrill to ride a Group race treble on the opening day of Newmarket’s Future Champions meeting. I am delighted for the King Power racing team and feel very lucky to be able to ride such lovely horses.
Winter Power was simply brilliant in the Cornwallis Stakes. She has grown up both physically and mentally and settled almost immediately after leaving the stalls. She travelled so sweetly throughout and I barely had to touch her and she quickened away to win a good race in terrific style. She is a really exciting prospect and seems to be getting better and better.
Happy Power continues in great form and battled away to win the Group Two Challenge Stakes. He has a real likeable attitude and it was a very similar performance to his latest Goodwood win.
Finally, Angel Power made it a treble on the day for King Power racing when grinding out victory in the closing Pride Stakes. The rain that fell just before loosened the ground a fair bit and I’d say she coped with conditions rather than enjoyed them. She just keeps improving and, like Happy Power, deserved the hat-trick.
Onto Saturday’s action and it promises to be a real cracker. There are a whole lot of really fascinating two-year-old races including a red-hot renewal of the Dewhurst Stakes where I’ve certainly got a chance aboard Fivethousandtoone for Andrew Balding, again for King Power racing. I also ride Cleonte for the same connections in the Cesarewitch which I’d love to win for a fourth time. It’s a race that’s been lucky for me and hopefully we have a squeak with Cleonte if he can bounce back.
Anyway, here are my thoughts on my five rides… and don’t miss the ZOOM ROOM chatting about Saturday’s card with Bill Esdaile and Johnny Ward (see below).
I kick-off with one for Rod Millman in the opening nursery handicap. He finished fourth last time at Newbury when favourite over this seven furlong trip which I guess was a little disappointing. However, it was soft ground when he won at Windsor previously so hopefully the return to an easier surface will help. This does look a hot race though with the top two on the card looking the obvious ones.
LONE EAGLE (1.45pm – Zetland Stakes)
Next up I’m really looking forward to getting back aboard Lone Eagle who bids for his hat-trick in the Zetland Stakes having won his last two. He showed a really willing attitude at Doncaster last time and was well on top in the closing stages. The step up in trip looks sure to suit and I don’t really have any concerns about the ground. This is a step up in class though and he meets some classy colts, but he won’t be far away.
FIVETHOUSANDTOONE (2.55pm – Dewhurst Stakes)
There is a field of 14 runners for the Dewhurst Stakes and it looks the best two-year-old race of the season. I guess I was a little bit disappointed that Fivethousandtoone was beaten in the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury last time (pictured below), but it was still a very good performance. He felt like he would appreciate this step up in trip and the soft ground won’t inconvenience him either. He was beaten at Newbury by a very good colt in Alkumait who has plenty of questions to answer on stamina grounds. If he stays the seven furlongs he will be tough to beat, but there are plenty of other really good colts in the mix. Chindit looks the obvious favourite for Richard Hannon, while Joseph O’Brien’s Thunder Moon looks a very good horse too. It promises to be a race to savour and I’m hoping we have a decent each-way chance.
CLEONTE (3.35pm – Cesarewitch Handicap)
I mentioned at the start that this is a race I have been lucky enough to have won three times previously, and I’m hoping that Cleonte has a chance of giving me a fourth win. He has had plenty of hold-ups this season meaning that this will only be his second start of the campaign. He didn’t set the world alight on his reappearance at Salisbury last month, but he will have come on plenty for that run and is a proper stayer as he showed when winning the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot last year. This will be a tough task from his current mark, but he does come here fresh with his stable in great form. I’m not too worried about the draw as I have had success in this race from all sorts including being drawn in the 30s! Looking at the others and you have to respect Willie Mullins’ Great White Shark as well as fellow Irish raider Dalton Highway. I’ve also a sneaky suspicion that Indianapolis will go very well for Frankie Dettori.
ODYSSEY GIRL (4.15pm – Boadicea Stakes)
On ratings I am up against it in the Boadicea Stakes aboard Odyssey Girl for Richard Spencer. She has run some decent races in handicaps so far this campaign, but this requires a lot more with her upped in class. Irish raider Millisle will be hard to beat if back to her best.
MARIE’S DIAMOND (4.50pm – Darley Stakes)
My final ride of the afternoon is Marie’s Diamond for Mark Johnston in the Darley Stakes. He was devastating at this course when I won on him earlier in the summer and I’m looking forward to getting back aboard him. He has a really likeable attitude and is hard to pass when on a going day. I don’t have any real concerns about the ground with him as he seems to handle all types of surface. He has to give weight away to some top-class three-year-olds which won’t be easy. The obvious one looking to be Highest Ground for Sir Michael Stoute. He didn’t quite get home in the Dante Stakes and this trip looks ideal for him after a nice break.
THE ZOOM ROOM