Jamie Spencer thinks Doctor should win the last at Ascot
I ride Grapevine in the opener at Ascot, the 1.40pm. He ran well first time out at Newbury, finishing 5th. Charlie’s horses always improve vastly for a run. I haven’t ridden him but on what I can see in the formbook he’s got a chance if he steps up. He’ll need to step forward by around 7lbs to 10lbs on his first run, but if he does he’ll have an each way chance.
David Simcock runs two fillies in the 2.15pm and I’m on Unsuspected Girl. I rode the other one, Susurro, on Wednesday morning but I believe the one I’m on today is supposed to be a little bit better at home. David did say to me a few weeks ago that he liked the Rip Van Winkle filly and I’m assuming this is the one that he likes so we’ll see. His horses always improve for their first race but he has had two first time out two year old winners in the last twelve days which is unlike us as we don’t usually scoot them up first time. Roger Varian’s filly Dawn of Hope ran well first time so she’ll probably be the big danger.
The horse I ride in the 2.50pm, Al Khan, was claimed by Kevin a few starts back and then came out and finish third. He wasn’t so good next time and looks up against it off his current mark. It would be nice to pick up some prize money. It’s a good prize so worth having a go. The draw was fine yesterday so there’s no obvious bias.
In the 3.25pm I ride She’s No Lady, and she’s the reason I didn’t have any food last night. I’m riding at 8st 7lbs and Ralph is a stickler for making the weight. I’ll have to get through that but she’s been running well and won her maiden nicely. Then won a handicap at Newmarket where she got the trip well and got stuck in. That will stand her in good stead because the ground is very soft on the round course at Ascot and it will take a good bit of getting. She should have an each way chance but it’s a tough race. I thought Dartmouth had the best form and is the big danger to everyone. I weighed myself leaving Kempton last night and I weighed 8st 7lbs so I need to be at least 1lb lighter today, so that meant having nothing basically. I’m riding work this morning at David Simcock’s and then Michael Bell’s and I’ll have all my heavy gear on to help lose a pound or two riding out. So I’ll be able to have a couple of boiled eggs. I won’t have to ride barefoot anyway! I wouldn’t do that. No way.
I promise you when a horse jumps a little bit left or right at the start and you hit the stalls it’s absolute agony. I would say 5% of jockeys have broken metatarsals all year round. Because one jumps left or right you do a metatarsal straightaway. And because you ride toe in the iron it twists the stirrup and your foot gets the full brunt of it. I can scream for a furlong when I hit my foot on the stall coming out. You can imagine 500 kilos of a horse pressing your foot against a steel pillar. You know what’s going to give. I wear sponges and ankle pads in my boots and once you use them you always have to use them as your foot gets used to them. I’m no goody two shoes but I’m rarely overweight and I’d rather have an extra half pound lighter and have all my comfy stuff on then ride half a pound heavier and give them up.
In the 4.35pm I was on Dawn’s Early Light earlier in the week but then Kingscote, the little rascal, came and jocked me off at the last minute, so I got on Right Touch at the last minute. I rode him a couple of years ago and I think he likes soft ground, so with the ground good to soft yesterday, it should be Ok for him. He’s got an each way chance, nothing more than that. Richard Fahey has had an unbelievable season. He’s just a winner machine. I know he’s getting a bit more Arab backing but it’s not like 50% of his string are Arab owned, he has loads of different owners.
In the last, the 5.40pm, Doctor Sardonicus is my best ride of the day. I rode him last time out at Chelmsford over six furlongs and I was drawn thirteen out of thirteen so I kicked him out and tried to go handy, and was just behind the leaders. Basically he just ran off with me from the four pole to the two pole. Considering last year I won a maiden on him over seven and a half furlongs I said to David after that last race “What have you done to this horse he’s now got a huge amount more speed”. I said we should drop him back to five as he didn’t stay at Chelmsford. He did so much between the four pole and the two pole that I had nothing left at the furlong pole. I think this could be a good sprinter. It’s amazing how a horse can change over a year. I think he’s a really good sprinter in the making. I just hope the ground can dry out a little bit. If it got to good ground it would suit him a lot better. He’s just got so much pace you don’t want anything to interfere with it. He’ll be in the firing line and I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t just about win.