Well, the rain they said would come certainly came on the opening day of the meeting and the ground will be soft for Wednesday’s action. I got a holiday for my ride on Beat The Bank in the opening Queen Anne Stakes when he just got touched off by Lord Glitters. The rules are there and unfortunately, I used my whip too much so will have to serve a seven day ban. I hold my hand up for the mistake but sometimes it’s hard in the heat of battle. Makyon ran really well for a long time in the Coventry, while the ground had probably gone against Fox Champion in the St James’ Palace Stakes. I am going home each night and travelling to the races – it’s nice to wake up at home each morning. Things will be pretty frantic after racing today as I am shooting off to ride at Chelmsford. As for Wednesday’s action I have five nice rides to look forward to…
MULTIPLY BY EIGHT 2.30pm Queen Mary Stakes
I ride Multiply By Eight for Tom Dascombe in the King Power Racing colours who I rode on her debut at Sandown last month. Despite the fact that she was very green, she ran a nice race and is entitled to come on for that. This is a big step up though but her stable have won this race in the past so they know what they are doing. The American fillies are always respected although Kimari and Anna’s Fast may not want it soft. As for the home contingent I won the National Stakes at Sandown on Flippa The Strippa. That was no fluke and she will run well again.
THEMAXWECAN 3.05pm Queen’s Vase
Since they upgraded the Queen’s Vase to a Group Two and dropped the distance back from two miles, you get some real quality three-year-olds turning up in this. Stradivarius won it two years ago and Kew Gardens landed this 12 months ago before going on to win the Leger. I ride Themaxwecan for Mark Johnston who has a bit to do on paper but you can never rule one out from his yard. He didn’t fire on soft ground at Lingfield but the good ground and step up in trip helped with a decent run last time at Doncaster. Therefore, he needs the rain to stay away and needs to step up a little to get involved. Aidan’s (O’Brien) two are obviously respected but may have to up their game to beat Jalmoud.
3.40pm Prince Of Wales’s Stakes
No ride for me here in what looks a really good renewal. Magical and Sea Of Class look the obvious two with race fitness likely to play a part. Magical has looked really impressive with three wins already this season and won’t mind more rain if it comes.
THREADING 4.20pm Duke Of Cambridge Stakes
A really competitive renewal as you might expect where I ride Threading on her first run of the season. She was a good second to Alpha Centauri in the Group One Coronation Stakes here last year and a reproduction of that form would put her right in this. She has won on soft before so that shouldn’t be a problem should any more rain come and is a classy filly on her day. There are definite grounds for optimism with Rawdaa for Sir Michael Stoute looking the obvious one.
ZWAYYAN 5.00pm Royal Hunt Cup
A full field of 30 for the Royal Hunt Cup where once again you could make a case for over half of them. I ride Zwayyan for Andrew Balding who drops back into handicap company having run in a Group 2 last time. This will be much more his level and he is drawn right near the stands side rail – who knows whether that is a good draw or not? Anyway, he seems pretty versatile ground wise and has bits and bobs of Ascot form so there are definite grounds for optimism. The talking horse seems to be Frankie’s (Dettori) mount New Graduate who could well be a Group horse in a handicap. This is a tough test though for one so lightly raced and stall one isn’t ideal. Robin Of Navan and last year’s winner Settle For Bay look interesting contenders.
RAYONG 5.35pm Windsor Castle Stakes
My last ride of the afternoon before speeding off to Chelmsford is Rayong for Karl Burke. He made a pleasing start on debut at Carlisle and I was supposed to ride him in the Woodcote at Epsom but he was a non-runner. He will obviously need to step up but I’m sure he will and I’m looking forward to the ride. The Americans look to have a strong hand with Karak and Foolish Humor, while Coolmore’s Southern Hills is another not to ignore despite still being a maiden.
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