Jamie Spencer on his six rides at York and top Royal Ascot hopes
I have a full book of rides at York tomorrow. In the 2.35pm I ride Free Code. He’s won his last two starts. He’s finding his form again for David Barron having been with James Tate. He’s still on a workable mark but hasn’t much room to manoeuvre. He has a chance.
In the 3.10pm over the mile I ride Baltic Knight for Richard Hannon. He ran well in a Group 3 at Haydock with blinkers on for the first time. He’s the type of horse that runs well without winning but the blinkers did help him last time over seven furlongs. Now upped to a mile with the blinkers on he’s got a decent chance. James Fanshawe’s horse Hors De Combat will be very hard to beat. He ran well in the Lockinge particularly given how keen he was.
In the 3.45pm I ride Charlie Croker for Kevin Ryan. He’s a nice horse who didn’t handle the undulations at Leicester last time. He won well at Doncaster the time before. I think you can just put a line through the Leicester race. I have had to sweat quite hard to ride him. He’s a good bit better than he’s shown and hopefully he can run well. The Henry Candy horse, Twilight Son, and the Martyn Meade horse, Scalzo, are the ones to beat. Riding 8st 6lbs is pretty much my minimum. To get down to my minimum I like to do it over a few days so I’ve been working on it since Wednesday. Some of the guys will just do it on the day and pop in the sauna and take 3 or 4 lbs off but I find that too hard. So yesterday I had a sweat in the morning then headed off to York where I had 4 rides so I lost a bit of weight riding. Then I had a little to eat last night and I’m pretty much there at the weight. I don’t keep weighing myself now. When I was younger I did but you can drive yourself demented. I now don’t even keep scales at home. I can tell my weight from my wrists.
In the 4.20pm I ride Barren Brook for Mick Easterby. He’s getting on a bit but he ran well last time. He’s an eight year old and he’s well exposed. I haven’t ridden much for the Easterbys over the last few years. So we’ll see how that goes.
In the 4.50pm I ride a nice two year old called Top Of The Bank. He’ll appreciate the ground and the step up to six furlongs. I think it’s between him and the Mark Johnston horse called Miniaturist who finished ahead of him a Haydock. On this ground I fancy him to turn the tables, but we’ll have to see what the newcomers are like.
In the 5.20pm I’m on Slingsby for Mick Easterby who’s on a hat-trick. He was very impressive on the all-weather the other day. He’s gone up quite a bit in the weights, 13lbs I think. But he’s a sprinter in form so you never know if that will stop him.
It’s a busy day for me which is good although I do ideally like a race off in the middle of the day for a cup of tea and a relax but I can’t complain. Until the light race is over it will be quite tough but after Charlie Croker I can enjoy the rest of the day.
Then my good pal Max Pimlott rides in the charity race at the end of the card so we’ll be waiting around to watch that. He’s managed to get down to 11st 1lbs and he was 14st 9lbs on 1st January so he’s done well. He’s like a new man. He’s riding one for John Quinn. My advice for him is simple, just go and out and enjoy yourself. He’s raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and you can sponsor him here – https://www.justgiving.com/Max-PimlottJockey
I’m really looking forward to next week at Royal Ascot. I rode work on Balios yesterday morning for David Simcock and he runs in the King Edward VII and I’m really looking forward to riding him. He feels like he’s improved since his reappearance at Newmarket. I’m also looking forward to riding Speculative Bid in the Royal Hunt Cup. He’s a big horse and David Elsworth hasn’t really turned the screw. He goes out on his own at home. He’s improving all the time and is just a big immature horse. He’s a horse that has had niggles earlier in his career but has had a clear run over the winter and a clear run until now so let’s hope he has a clear run this week. The extra furlong should bring out extra improvement as well. I like Touchline in the Sandringham. I have had two rides for Michael Bell in the race and both have won. She was second to Sperry of Godolphin’s on her first race if the year. She is 1lb out of the handicap if Osaila runs but there will also be a lot of horses out of the weights.