Jamie Spencer expecting a star performance from Brando
On Wednesday I have three rides. In the two year old race I ride a home-bred, Dream Of Dreams, for Kevin. I don’t know much about him but I spoke to Kevin on Saturday and he seemed happy enough with him. Obviously now with the new novice programme replacing maidens it’s all changed and this is one of the first test to see how it works.
Sutter County is giving us all 6lbs but he won by so far you couldn’t but be impressed with him. It will be interesting to see how he goes. Mark Johnston is an extremely bright man and he is embracing the new programme on the basis that if his horses are more schooled-up and fitter than everyone else’s he can win two to three novice races with a juvenile with that experience advantage, where extra weight won’t necessarily catch them out. As you can see his juveniles so far this season are winning by eight and ten lengths, where last year they were winning by one or two lengths. I can only assume that his two year olds are almost as if they’ve had a handful of runs when they do first run, and are really ready for action.
I then have Calling Out in the 4.30 who ran a really good second to Roger Varian’s horse, Belardo, at Doncaster the other day. He’ll probably struggle in this race. There are a couple of really nice horses in the field. Air Pilot, though he’s getting on a bit, I thought would have a really good chance given how the ground is. Mahsoob, coming back from a long time off, and Dutch Connection are both really nice horses. It’s a strong race for an Earl of Sefton Stakes. Usually you get four or five runners, so it will be interesting. I thought Calling Out would just struggle against this field. He has a fitness advantage which is the one thing in his favour so we will just have to see.
I ride Brando for Kevin in the 5.40. He’s a huge, big horse by Pivotal. He was quite babyish as a two year old and then got it together last year. He only had three runs and won two of the three and he should have a squeak. He only went up 4lbs for winning his last race at Haydock on soft ground. He won his maiden on good. He’s a typical Pivotal, they improve, improve and improve. I thought he was probably my best chance over the first two days of the meeting, but then I went and won on Terentum Star on day one.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the week. I have some nice rides at Newbury at the weekend, and will be busier there on Friday and Saturday. I ride a nice maiden called Gunnery for Peter Chapple-Hyam over a mile and three furlongs on Saturday. I think he’s quite a smart horse. I’m looking forward to riding him.
David Simcock is not really an April sort of trainer. He likes to sit and watch a little bit, let everyone get going, and just keep his powder dry. His view is that if you run a nice potentially well handicapped horse in April, even off a mark of say 75, you can run into a horse that ends up running in the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot or that type of race, and you get put up 10lbs for not even winning. He’d rather give it a few weeks and see what’s what.