It’s been a quieter week for me having been suspended for a few days so I spent my time at home, in the garden and changing nappies…. so it will be nice to be back on track this weekend!
I’ve mentioned in the past about how being number one rider for King Power racing can throw up some difficult decisions. There were some nice rides available at both Goodwood and Windsor on Saturday but have opted for Windsor, primarily to ride Fox Chairman in the feature with plenty of other interesting rides. Fingers crossed the meeting passes the Saturday morning inspection as they’ve had plenty of rain and by the sounds of it can’t take much more.
Hopefully Fox Chairman (pictured) can go well in the Winter Hill – more about him and my other rides below …..
LOVE POWERFUL (1.05pm)
I kick things off with Love Powerful in the second race. She’s a little high in the weights and has found life tougher since winning at Haydock – so may need some respite from the handicapper before she goes in again. That said, the ground was soft when she won at Haydock, so the conditions should help her chances and possibly inconvenience some her rivals more.
LETHAL ANGEL (1.40pm)
I ride Lethal Angel for Stuart Williams who is excellent with this type of sprinter. I don’t know too much about this fella but he looks like his turn might not be too far away as the handicapper is beginning to give him a chance. His last turf win came off a mark of 68 and we are below that on 66 today.
ALWAYS FEARLESS (2.10pm)
Was a bit disappointing on his reappearance after being gelded. Things didn’t really go to plan at Doncaster where he was awkward at the start and met a bit of trouble in running too. Hopefully he can put that run behind him and return to the progressive form he showed as a two-year-old.
ALOUNAK (Gallagher Group August Stakes (Listed Race) 2.40pm)
The first of my big-race rides is Alounak who was a little bit unlucky at Goodwood as he was boxed in at a crucial time in the Group 3 Queen’s Plate Glorious Stakes. I’m not saying we would have won, but we were trapped in two furlongs out and he stayed on well enough after that. The testing conditions should suit and in an ideal world there will be a strong pace which he likes to aim at. Desert Encounter was second in the Goodwood race and looks the one we have to beat again.
FOX CHAIRMAN (Gallagher Group Winter Hill Stakes (Group 3) 3.15pm)
As I said in the intro, he’s the main reason I’m heading to Windsor and is without doubt my best chance of a winner on the day. He’s always been a really exciting prospect and I was delighted when we kept him on as a four-year-old. Things didn’t necessarily go to plan at the beginning of the season in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot but he built on that when stepping up in trip at Sandown and built on that again when runner-up to Aspetar in the York Stakes last time out. 1m 2f at Windsor on testing ground should suit him well. It looks a good renewal but he seems in good form and hopefully should take plenty of beating.
ETHICS APPROVAL (3.50pm)
I don’t know too much about Ethics Hill who I ride for Charlie Hills but it’s always nice to pick up a spare like him. He hasn’t set the world alight in four runs to date. Arguably his best run was first time up at Chepstow when it was good – he has raced on quicker ground since. Hopefully he’ll enjoy switch to the softer surface.
Finally, a word on the big race at Goodwood …
Ladbrokes Celebration Mile (3.35pm)
Benbatl is a very classy horse on his day and Saeed has obviously targeted this race for his first UK start since the QEII last year. However, connections will presumably not want to see too much more rain falling. Looking at the opposition, the biggest danger to me looks to be Century Dream. The Crisford’s horse was really impressive at Newbury first time out and may have found the trip too long last time out in France. A return to a soft ground mile should see him at his best in what should be a great race to watch.