Jamie Spencer hopeful that Watchable can land his second Royal winner
I was really glad that Balios won yesterday. Royal Ascot is a long week, and you want to ride winners. When you go to Royal Ascot you convince yourself that you have chances on horses that if you looked realistically at you’d realise they had no chance.
On Ashadidan in yesterday’s Albany Stakes I felt I was riding a two year old filly for the future rather than a Royal Ascot filly. She struggled with the speed early on, she struggled with the ground and she was one of the biggest fillies in the race. She’s a tall angular filly compared to the winner, Illuminate, who’s ready made. My filly probably had the harder race as she wasn’t as ready for it as the Hannon horse. If you watched the race Hughsie on Illuminate was always travelling better. Hopefully with my filly we’ll go up to seven furlongs next time and she’ll keep improving.
I had five rides for Kevin Ryan, and had three seconds and I was gutted not to ride a winner for him. The one that got away was absolutely The Grey Gatsby. Areen and Ashadihan ran their races and just both ran into one. It was however great to ride David Simcock’s first Royal Ascot winner, Balios. He’s a slow burner. We’re only just scratching the surface with him. He was second in a listed race and then improved to win a Group 2. It probably wasn’t the strongest renewal but he could only beat what was in front of him. He made up five lengths quickly in the straight and just got a bit tired going to the line. I think he’ll continue to improve.
In the first today, the Chesham, Ballydoyle must be the one. Particularly given the name they have given her. I watched her debut and at no stage of the race at The Curragh did she look like she was going to win it. So she’ll need to have stepped up considerably. I thought Tonkinese would have to have a squeak. He’s had two runs and was impressive last time out.
In the Wolferton I really hope that Mahsoob wins. I’ve been travelling every day with Frankie Dettori, Ryan Moore and Paul Hanagan and I want him to ride a winner. Ascot can be very cruel as Paul had the choice of the two Hamdan owned horses in the Commonwealth and stuck with Adaay, which I would have done, and the other one won. There would be something wrong with him if he wasn’t dejected on the way home last night. Fingers crossed Mahsoob will win. He has a good draw. I don’t think the handicapper has his measure yet.
In the Hardwicke I really like Postponed. This is the first time this year that he’ll get really fast ground. He’s won twice in his life and both times on quick ground. When he was beaten at Sandown and The Curragh it was on the slow side of good. Telescope has the best form so we’ll have to see.
I ride Astaire in the Diamond Jubilee stakes. He ran well on his first two starts but has disappointed in his last couple. Ryan said he was always hanging to the right at The Curragh so we’ll just have to see. I really like Brazen Beau and Mustajeeb. The Australian sprinters are generally superior so Brazen Beau looks the one to beat.
I’m on Watchable in the Wokingham. I beat him on Astaire earlier this season and he’s now back in handicaps. He’s run well at this track before and has had a nice break so he must have a great chance. I’m banking on there being enough pace on my side. With Gamesome well fancied I’m presuming Green Door will be used as a pacemaker. Other than Dinkum Diamond there isn’t a whole load of pace. I don’t think there’s a track bias, I just think it’s where the pace is. I think it’s between Gamesome and Watchable if we do get some pace.
In the last I ride Brave Richard who has run in three bumpers and won all three. He’s by Jeremy and out of a fastish mare, so I presume the trip has to be a concern. Wicklow Brave will be hard to beat but he isn’t copper fastened to get the trip either. However if anyone can train a horse to stay it’s Willie Mullins. He got Simenon to go from being a 10f horse to being a thorough stayer.
It’s been an amazing week for Ryan Moore but he takes it all in his stride and just laughs. I think if people got off his back a bit he’d be more open. He just doesn’t like being told to speak more, it makes him speak less. He’s brilliant and we see the best of him in the weighing room. For example when we got on the plane last night I was sitting next to him and Paul Hanagan was on the other side of the plane, and Ryan just asked me “what’s Paul got tomorrow”, and when I told him he just said, “Oh, well I hope he rides a winner”. That’s the type of fellow he is. He’s not all about himself. That’s the best way to describe Ryan. He’s a genius rider. He’s not dirty in a race. He holds his line. He’s good to ride against and he’s even better off the horse.
He’s such a good rider, just so solid. The thing about Ryan is that he just doesn’t give a damn about anything. I promise you. He doesn’t care. He’ll always do what he thinks is best. He’s able to park away disappointments. For example in The Jersey he should have won on Sir Isaac Newton but he’s able to park away the disappointment and just go out and ride in the next race just as well. He’ll deal with the disappointment later and go through why he didn’t win the race, but he’s just able to park that away during the race meeting. He’s very good like that and there aren’t many sportsmen who are able to do that. It’s probably one of his biggest assets.