It is really strange to think we are virtually half-way through June and it is freezing outside and there are meetings being abandoned everywhere because of the non-stop rain. Let’s hope the weather improves dramatically ahead of Royal Ascot next week as it would be such a shame if the heavens open again. I love Ascot and the whole atmosphere will be dampened in the rain – it’s so unfair on everyone who have been planning their outfits for months. My wife Vicky will be there on the first day with the kids and it’s a magical week. Hopefully the weather will improve though and that seems to be the case if you believe the forecasters. I’ll be back with a blog for each and every day of the meeting where I have plenty of really exciting rides to look forward to. In the meantime, I am at Sandown on Saturday with six nice rides to look forward to…
WELL DONE FOX 2.05pm
My first ride of the afternoon is Well Done Fox who did his best to end my season when smashing me against the stalls at York last time. He was withdrawn after behaving himself like that and hopefully he will be on his best behaviour this time. He is better than he showed first time up behind Calyx at Ascot and I reckon this drop back to five furlongs will help too. He won on good to soft as a two-year-old last season so hopefully he will be okay on the ground. He also won a Listed race at the track last year so that will be no problem. So, it all comes down to whether he behaves himself and, if he does, he has to be a leading player.
FANTASY KEEPER 2.35pm
I rode Fantasy Keeper for the fast time when he was just touched off at Goodwood last Sunday. That was a good run and a reproduction of that off the same mark will see him go close. The ground should be no bother to him and there are grounds for optimism for one so lightly raced despite having topweight.
MASHAM STAR 3.15pm
There aren’t many horses in training busier than Masham Star at the moment who will be having seventh run since the beginning of May. He seems to be holding his form well and is running consistently without winning. The ground is fine for him and I suppose he will run his usual game race potentially finding a few better handicapped than he is. Hopefully that won’t be the case as he deserves to get his head in front, but the likes of Baltic Baron and last year’s winner Greenside are respected.
MAKE A WISH 3.50pm
I rode Make A Wish when she was third on her debut at Nottingham last summer so am looking forward to getting back on her again. She stepped up on her first start of the season to win at Redcar and will need to do so again if she is to win again in a hotter race. She is in against some smart types like Wise Counsel and Artistic Rifles and I’m hoping she will be okay on the ground.
NETTE ROUSSE 5.00pm
If the ground is bad this 1m 2f maiden will be pretty hard work for some of these lightly raced three-year-olds. I ride Nette Rousse for Ralph Beckett and I’m encouraged by the fact that she had been entered to run over 1m 4f at Chepstow on Friday before that meeting was abandoned. That suggests she should have no trouble with the trip and she made her debut on soft ground so hopefully that won’t inconvenience her either. She ran on really well over course and distance last time and she must have a big chance. I suppose a lot will depend on how good William Haggas’ expensive newcomer Two Bids is as he very much looks the part on paper.
JUST WAIT 5.35pm
My final ride of the afternoon is Just Wait for Mark Johnston who must have a leading chance stepped up in trip. It was soft at Hamilton when he won there last season so he will be fine on the ground and shaped as if well worth another go at this sort of distance when plugging on late last time. It looks a competitive race as you would imagine with the likes of Oi The Clubb Oi’s and Baydar looking big threats on paper, but I’m looking forward to riding my filly despite the 6lbs rise.
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