Jamie Spencer misses Ascot rides for Ashadihan Group 3 at Lingfield
It was a great training performance by Nicky Henderson to win the Chester Cup with No Heretic. Chester has always been good to me over the years. Indeed for the last eight or ten years I’ve always had winners at the May Meeting. I only had a handful of rides there this week so it was nice to ride a winner, and obviously it was the big race of the week so it was ideal.
Looking back at the Guineas, I thought Galileo Gold did really well as he had the worst of the draw, never got any cover, race very exuberantly for half a mile and then Frankie stepped him up a gear and he got the trip well. Being someone that’s reasonably interested in pedigrees, if you said a horse by Paco Boy was going to go a mile and a half at Group 1 level, I would say that it would be a bridge too far. Given how exuberantly he raced in the first half mile at Newmarket when they were going a proper mile pace, you could easily see him doing another Dawn Approach if they ran him in the Derby. Dawn Approach completely over-raced and he was cooked by Tattenham Corner. Hugo knows where he wants to be with the horse. It’s clear that he’s done well with the horse, who has trained on well from two to three.
Minding was very impressive given they went a steady pace. I was surprised Ryan had her so prominent without any cover but she is just a great mare, a push button horse, she doesn’t pull, she doesn’t do anything wrong. I can only assume she’s a dream to ride.
I’m missing quite a few good rides in the early races at Ascot to go to Lingfield to ride Ashadihan in the 2.50. I was second on this filly at Royal Ascot last year and this Group Three at Lingfield looks winnable. She went through a growing spell after Ascot and Kevin didn’t push her too much afterwards. She ran at York but got wiped out after leaving the stalls and was never really going then. Kevin’s happy with her, she’s been working well, and she’s got a nice draw. There are a few unexposed horses in the race like William Haggis’s Light Music. I would be disappointed if my filly wasn’t there or thereabouts. Kevin’s horses work on a fast all weather surface so I’m not worried by the fact the race is on the all-weather. I’d like to see it ride a little bit quicker than it did yesterday.
In the first race at 1.45 I ride Acclio for James Tate. I don’t know much about him. He won a couple for Clive Brittain last year. Baileys Mirage looks the one to beat. He’s been doing really well for Chris Dwyer. I’m on Shyron for George Margarson in the 2.20. He should have a good chance. Capo Rosso is the one that I would be worried about. Shyron has good course form but it’s possible that seven furlongs might be better than the mile for him. We’ll have to take it as it comes.
I then jump in the car to Ascot, which should take only 45 minutes. I ride Buckstay then in the Victoria Cup at 4.15. I was told he’s been going well at home. I haven’t ridden him this spring. He’s six pounds higher than when he won the International for me. He likes the track and this good, good to firm ground, will suit him. Predominance looks to be an improving type but I thought my horse ought still to have a good chance.
My last ride of the day is on the old boy Light From Mars in the 4.45. This looks a tough race for him. Hughes’s horse up the top, The Big Lad, is the one to beat. I’ve ridden Light From Mars a long time ago, so long ago I can’t even remember, but he’s been going OK recently.