Jamie in bullish mood about five strong Chelmsford challenge
Looking at the decision this week to give the St Leger back to Simple Verse and connections, I’d have to say nothing surprises me these days. I think it was a positive decision. Obviously Coolmore lost out but they’ve had many St Leger winners and it was positive for Racing as a whole for Sheikh Fahad and his family to have a big winner. It’s good for Racing and it will hopefully give them the impetus to go out and buy some more two year olds and take another big step forward again. It was a tight call on the day; it felt like a 50/50. Then going into the appeal I would have said it was a 65% chance of Bondi Beach keeping it, but I think it’s a good decision for the sport.
Bondi Beach winning the St Leger wasn’t going to make a big difference to his stud career, and he’s now going off to the Melbourne Cup anyway. So apart from the prize money, losing the race isn’t going to make a big difference to his owners. You can see it meant a lot to Ralph Beckett. In the interview afterwards he was quite emotional. He deserves it too. He’s a master at training fillies and he’s won two of the five Classics with fillies already.
It’s good to see Ryan Moore back. He seems fit, strong and well. It was typical Ryan, as everyone was pretty much in the dark as to when he was going to come back but I had an inkling earlier this week. It’s good for the game that he’s back, and I’m sure Sir Michael Stoute is glad he’s back too. Whilst he’s clearly fit, there’s nothing like a few rides to get the fitness for riding in a race up to speed. You can ride the equiciser and you can ride work, but there’s nothing quite like the competitive edge of riding in a race. He rode winners yesterday and he looked sharp, and that race fitness will come back pretty quick.
I had to give up my rides on Friday after a fall at Chelmsford on Thursday night. I was thrown from the horse and there’s absolutely no give in that all weather surface. At the time though my shoulder seemed ok but I woke up on Friday morning and it was incredibly sore. I spent yesterday icing it and taking painkillers but I should be fine to ride today.
My whole weekend was always going to be shaped around David Simcock’s plans and he has three runners at Chelmsford this evening. He told me a few days ago that he wanted me to go there, so my day is built around that. It’s a good card and we have a nice two year old Dragon Mall running in the 6.15pm. He ran very well first time but was very green. He was then second at Doncaster but he was just so raw, and still green there. I think he’s one of those horses that will just continue to improve and I like him as a horse. I don’t think we’ve seen anything near what he’s capable of. He’s had 60 odd days to strengthen up a bit further. So I’m hoping for a good run.
In the 6.45pm I ride Doctor Sardonicus for David. I think he’s the most solid ride I have on the weekend. He’ll be hard to beat. All he has to do is get a good beginning. That’s the top and bottom of it. I think he’s got a big chance of winning. He’s only had a handful of starts this year. He’s actually been hard to place as he needs fast ground. We’re back to five furlongs. Fingers crossed we can put up a bold showing. Being drawn seven is fine, particularly as the going is a bit slow in the inside at Chelmsford which nullifies any advantage of being drawn low.
I’m on Captain Cat in the 7.15pm. I actually spoke to George Baker on Thursday and he said he did actually run well last time. He just wouldn’t go by. He got there easily but just wouldn’t go by, whereas before he wasn’t even getting there in his races. He’s drawn one which isn’t ideal as generally he likes to challenge out wide around horses. That makes it a bit more difficult but with the blinkers on maybe he can come through them a bit more tonight. It’s a watching brief for him really. I thought the Jane Cecil horse Western Reserve would be hard to beat. He was very impressive at The July meeting. He looks a class horse and is bred for the surface.
I ride Majeed in the 7.45pm. He won at Chelmsford on his first start of the year and I won on him last time out. He’s only up 3lbs. Weight isn’t the issue with Majeed. It’s whether he’s in the mood or not. He has a really good turn of foot. I’m not too bothered about the draw as he likes to challenge out wide as he’s a bit timid. He is basically a pace horse. If we get a good even pace he can then run them down and looking at the race we should get a good pace. I’m really looking forward to riding him. Him and Doctor Sardonicus would be my best two rides of the day.
At the end of the night I’m on Opito Bay in the 8.45pm. She ran nicely in the spring. She has a strange pedigree. She has plenty of stamina on the dam’s side but is by a sprinter. A mile and a quarter seems well within her range. It’s her first time in a handicap and she doesn’t look too badly treated but will just see how she goes. She may have an each way chance.
I start off the day at Newmarket. I like Deauville in the Royal Lodge. He’s a full brother to The Corsican who I won on last week. He’s the second foal. He’s one of those horses that when he beat Sanus Per Aqam at Leopardstown everyone was shocked, but I don’t think anyone at Ballydoyle was shocked. It’s great that Doctor Hay has got a horse. I think the step up to a mile is good for him, and obviously the galloping nature of Newmarket should be perfect. I’d be disappointed if he doesn’t win.
In the Cheveley Park I thought William Haggis’s filly, Besharah, has stepped up her form recently. She got beat by Illuminate but her last two runs in the Princess Margaret and then at York have been impressive. At York she was tight for room, tight for room, and then she got out and showed a great turn of speed. She’s having her seventh start of the year but maybe she’ stepped forward more than the rest of them. Then Shalaa in the Middle Park will be a walkover.
My Cambridgeshire mount, Energia Davos was just ready to have a run when he won at Ascot after six months off the track. We were obviously happy he’d won but we hadn’t expected it. I had ridden him a few times at home and we were just hoping he’d finish in the first four. It was a pleasant surprise that he was fit enough to get the job done that day. He did it well but obviously this is a totally different test. He’s got form at a mile and a quarter, and I always think you need that for the Cambridgeshire as it’s basically a nine furlong sprint, with 35 runners all going a good pace. I think it should set up well for him. We’re drawn 15 so we can go either side and he’s a hold up horse so we’ll take our time. It’s never easy and he’s got plenty of weight. Abseil is a bit of a sucker horse, as he’s always one you think is going to do better. He should go well. I won the race once before for Alan Swinbank.
My other ride at Newmarket is on Duchy, first time on the track, for Michael Bell in the maiden at 4.25pm. I’ve ridden her at home and she’s a horse for the future. She’s a little bit weak still so I can see her running a nice race but she’ll be a good filly next year.