Luke Morris fancies a previous mount at Wolves this Boxing Day
THIS is my last blog of the year and I’ve been delighted with what I’ve achieved during 2016.
Numerically it was slightly below the level I got to last year, but I had six weeks off with injury and if I’d have had been able to ride during that time I’d have probably reached the same number as before so I’ve been pretty consistent again.
However, in terms of some of the winners I’ve had it has been a fantastic year. I had my first Royal Ascot winner on Prince Of Lir in the Norfolk Stakes and I rounded the year off with a Group 1 win in the Prix de l’Abbaye at Chantilly on Marsha. I was also champion jockey on the all-weather and managed to win the Super Sprint on Mrs Danvers and a big handicap at the Ebor festival on Scarlet Dragon.
This year was a real step up for me in terms of the quality of some of the winners I had and I hope that stands me in good stead going into next season.
Every year I always try and get a Group 1 winner. If you can get one then it’s fantastic but if you don’t then it’s always slightly disappointing. They’re not easy races to win so to top the year off by winning the Abbaye with Marsha was great.
She’ll be my flagbearer again going into next year which is really exciting. She’s be aimed at races like the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot, the Nunthorpe and the Abbaye. If she can win another one of them then it’ll be fantastic.
My boss Sir Mark Prescott has also got St Michel back in training next year and he’s rated 112 now. If he can step forward next year then he’ll be targeting those big staying prizes and he’s one to really look forward to.
I feel like I’ve got a good base of contacts that are very loyal and hopefully going forward into next year I’ve got a nice team to look forward to. As well as Marsha and St Michel there should hopefully be some nice horses to come from the likes of James Tate and Marco Botti.
James’s got 100 plus horses for next season and over 65 two-year-olds among them. Between there and some of the other yards I ride for hopefully we can find a nice two-year-old or older horse to go forward with.
I’m not in action again this year as I’m taking some time off over Christmas, however I’ll be keeping one eye on the racing at Wolverhampton on Boxing Day nevertheless.
There are a couple of really good contests, the first of which is the 1m 1 1/2f handicap. The horse to beat is Mythical Madness as he’s shown some really good form and is running well.
Having said that, I do like Forceful Appeal as an alternative. I won on him two starts back and he’s at the top of his game at the moment.
He’s able to run off his old mark before his new mark kicks in for finishing fourth in a Listed race. He potentially well in and he’ll have a real solid chance.
I hope Lightscameraction can go well in the 6f conditions race too as he’s been a real all-weather flagbearer for me. I rode him the other morning and he seemed in good form.
If he can get the six furlongs then he’ll definitely have a good chance because he feels great, but I’ve always felt he’s at his best over five furlongs.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blogs this year. Have a very merry Christmas and a great new year and I’ll be back with my weekly columns again in 2017.