Jamie Spencer expects Jack to nail an open looking Oaks
I have just the one ride at Epsom on Zugzwang in the 3.45pm. He keeps going up in the handicap, and he’s 6lbs higher again after finishing second the other day. He’s back to a mile and it looks a tough task for him in this field. The one thing he has in his favour is that he’s on good form and he’s got a nice draw. I don’t think it’s the strongest of handicaps. There are a lot of exposed horses. Last year’s winner Abseil is in there but he’s got a bad draw. We’ve got a chance.
I knew when I saw the entries for Epsom that the meeting was going to be very tight for me as everyone just rides their own horses. Charlie Hills, Michael Bell and Kevin Ryan don’t have that many runners this weekend, and David Simcock’s runners are mainly Jim Hay’s horses that Jim Crowley rides. It’s just the way it is and you have to go along with it. It’s a case of peaks and troughs. It’s the same for all of us. You look at James Doyle who rides for one of the biggest owners in the game, Godolphin, and he’s not riding at Epsom on either day and he’s off to Goodwood tomorrow evening.
The Oaks is a very open race. I think the favourite Legatissimo has a bit to do. Everything went right for her in the 1000 Guineas. The splits came at the right time. I thought Lucida for arguments sake was the best horse on the day. She had a bump at the start and nothing went smoothly for her, whereas everything went perfectly for Legatissimo. You have to be impressed by Stoute’s filly, Crystal Zvezda. She has to step up a good bit on what she has achieved so far though. The one I do like is Jack Naylor. I thought she was nearly the moral winner of the Irish 1000 Guineas. She did well to make up a lot of ground compared to the first two home who were up near the front the whole way. It’s just a wicked race. Any one of five could win and you wouldn’t be surprised.
Tomorrow evening I head up to Bath for five rides and my whole trip is structured around Little Voice, who I ride for Charlie Hills in the 6.55pm. I’m hoping with a bit of luck that she could be a Queen Mary filly so the whole day is structured around her. She’s obviously taking on the colts but she has a nice draw and I’ll be disappointed if she doesn’t win. She feels like a really good filly and the faster ground the better. She was green and babyish at Windsor but she was really winging in the last furlong.
I ride Storm Lightning in the 7.30pm who has finished second on his last two starts and runs of the same mark as last time out. He’s top weight in a lesser race so everything looks in good shape for him to run well.
Bath is an OK track to ride. I only go there once or twice a year. It’s a long way from Newmarket that’s what I do know. It’s an even longer way from Yorkshire and I’m riding one of Kevin Ryan’s called Soft Love in the 8.05pm. This is a moderate race. It’s probably for Roger Varian’s horse, Imtiyaaz, to lose. We’ll give it a shot but she’s had plenty of chances. We’ll just have to see.
I’m on Mercury in the 8.35pm also for Kevin. He showed quite a bit last year as a two year old at home but never really produced it on the track. He’s been disappointing so far and so it’s just a watching brief with him although it is a very moderate race.
Finally in the last race at 9.05pm I ride Doubly Clever. He ran OK in a classified race last time but the David Elsworth horse, Ivors Involvement, is the one we all have to beat. I wouldn’t be expecting too much from mine.