Jamie Spencer can’t curb his enthusiasm for Lonsdale Cup chance
Syphax in the Acomb on Wednesday was just very raw and babyish in the first half of the race. He had won first time out in a small field and sometimes when they do that they don’t really grasp what it’s all about. So it was like a horse having its first race all over again. He had to run a couple of races, first when he missed the break and had to race a bit to get a position, and then had to catch up with the others halfway up the straight and then he had to quicken late on. So you have to be impressed by the performance. I presume a race like the Champagne at Doncaster could be on Kevin’s radar for him and a straight track should suit him even better. He’s Breeders Cup nominated being by Arch, but he would need to run well at Doncaster to think about going to Santa Anita, but he’ll have learned a lot from Wednesday’s win. He’s a very relaxed horse and I expect him to race a good bit more professionally next time.
I ride Shakopee in the first at 1.55 at York. He’s a lightly raced horse and there is a good horse in there. When he won at Doncaster I felt that he was a mile and a half horse running over a mile and a quarter. On breeding he should be staying two miles, so I think he was winning over those trips on raw ability alone but now he’s gone up 7lbs and is taking on a better grade of horse he needs to step up to a more suitable trip. He’s quite a nervous horse so I need to get him to relax in the first part of the race, and if he does that then he’s got a reasonable chance. At Goodwood the other day he was never going at any stage of the race. I wouldn’t have won after a furlong let alone by the last furlong. I’m just going to let him find his feet, and then hopefully he’ll enjoy himself down the straight.
I then ride Curbyourenthusiasm in the Lonsdale Cup at 2.30. David Simcock was happy enough with him going to Goodwood but he came back a bit flat, and wasn’t showing much life. But he’s happy with him again. I galloped him over six furlongs and he felt really well and picked up nicely. He’ll love the ground as long as it stays dry. The likes of Clever Cookie and Quest For More look the obvious dangers, as does Trip To Paris. But I’m looking forward to riding Curbyourenthusiasm and I think he has a good chance.
I’m riding Nemoralia in the City of York Stakes at 3.05. I spoke to Frankie about her on Wednesday. She’s a very smart filly and won well at the track the last time she got fast ground. For me she’s the best horse in the race, getting a lot of weight from the older horses and other three year olds. I can’t see any negatives for her and she’ll hopefully get a good pace to run at with So Beloved and Glen Moss in the field.
Jeremy Noseda called me on Monday to ask me if I could do the 8st 6lbs to ride her. I said I could and since then I’ve been flat out training to get there. In fact by Wednesday I had got down to the weight that I needed to be. That meant that on Wednesday night I had some Halibut and yesterday morning I ate Smoked Salmon and scrambled eggs, and then just went to the gym afterwards to work it off. My approach to getting down to a low weight is just to train hard, as I like to get down to the weight a few days in advance so my body is used to it, and then I can eat and train to maintain it. Everybody has their own ways of doing it. Some jockeys like to lose the weight two hours before the race. I like to do it a few days in advance, and then eat, and keep feeding the system, rather than starve. I reckon it’s been three years since I’ve ridden at 8st 6lbs.
Nemoralia is the kind of horse I want to be riding. She was only just beaten in the Coronation Stakes and she was very unlucky in the Juvenile Fillies Turf last year from a bad draw on ground that was probably softer than she likes.
In the Nunthorpe I ride Goken at 3.40. He needs it to rain a lot. He’s a horse that likes to get his toe in, and his best form is with a bit of juice in the ground. With conditions the way they are currently I find it hard to see him having a chance. I like Profitable as a horse. He’s got a great cruising speed and idles in front, so back at five furlongs I think he could be hard to beat.
I ride First Up for Jeremy in the Convivial Maiden at 4.20. Apparently they like him. I haven’t sat on him or seen him. As far as I’m aware they like him. I thought Frankie’s horse Rivet would be hard to beat and apparently Via Serendipity is Hugo Palmer’s best two year old. It’s historically a warm race, and it’s entitled to be, it’s a £60,000 maiden. It’s ridiculous prize money but it’s good and attracts a strong field.
I then fly down to Salisbury from York in a small plane which takes about an hour and twenty minutes, and ride Ronald R in the Stonehenge Stakes at 7.05. People might look and say he’s rated 85 why are they blowing that rating running in a Listed race but he’s really nice horse, probably our best two year old. I’m really looking forward to riding him. Montataire of Mark Johnston’s has good form and Cunco obviously has Royal Ascot form so they are a bit more experienced. But I really like my horse and I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t take a hand.
I then ride Duck A L’Orange in the 7.35. He’s back out quick before his new rating kicks in as he was second at Newmarket six days ago, and had won there previously. So we are hoping he can take his form to a different track. We’ll give it a go.
Then in the 8.05 I ride Rainbow Pride for Sir Mark. He won nicely at Bath and then got disqualified. He then made the running at Wolverhampton in a small field and it didn’t seem to suit him. I’ll see what Mark says but I thought he would have an obvious chance.