Jamie Spencer talks about his rides on a top class racing weekend
I ride Brendan Brackan in the 5.15 at Leopardstown. He looks to have a reasonable chance on the ratings. It all boils down to Free Eagle and how he is. He hasn’t run since this meeting last year so he’s the horse everyone’s got to beat. But as you know when a horse has a setback it’s never straightforward. Hall of Mirrors was a pacemaker when he won last time which was all a bit strange so he’s hard to work out. It doesn’t look the strongest Group Three and Brendan Bracken has been in good form. He won a listed race at Cork on his first run for us and then got beat by Custom Cut but it was very soft ground at Leopardstown and Custom Cut came out and won since so that looks good form. My horse runs to his rating every time so he will have a good chance. The one unknown is the ten furlongs. Will he get the trip? He ran over eleven furlongs at Dundalk but that’s a very different test to grass. His trainer Ger Lyons has been doing really well. His horses have been in great form and he’s had more winners than he’s ever had before.
5.45pm Leopardstown – The Matron Stakes
Purr Along was very disappointing last time. She didn’t move as well as she can and the ground was plenty quick enough for her and that will be the concern again today. I suppose on her best form she’d have a place chance but I think that’s the best you could hope for. I thought Rizeena would beat Tapestry. It’s a big difference going back from a mile and a half to a mile and I know Tapestry’s got 10lbs in hand on the ratings but she got that rating for beating Taghrooda and everybody knows that Taghrooda can’t have run to her best in the Yorkshire Oaks. I think Rizeena will be very hard to beat. The ground was too soft for her last time against Kingman but other than that she’s been in great form all year. I can’t see anything to beat her. It’s going to be an advantage for Ryan that he’s ridden both fillies, and knows both their strengths and their weaknesses.
The Number one thing I’d say about Ryan is that he’s a brilliant fella. He’s really approachable and I enjoy his company. He’s definitely not boring despite what people who don’t know him think. He’s clearly a brilliant jockey and he believes in himself so much that even when others question him or a race he’s ridden, he just fobs it off and gets on with the next one. He never lets anyone or anything dent his confidence.
He’s got a great ability to just get on a horse and regardless of the pressure or the importance of the race just seperate himself from that . He’s just a great jockey. The best I’ve ridden against. But what makes me like him and rate him even more is that he’s a really clean rider. Some riders will wipe you out during a race to win. It’s out of order and needless. Yet with Ryan I just can’t think of a time that he’s done that to me. Of course with race riding it’s every man for himself from the two furlong pole but early in the race he’s a really clean rider and that’s why everyone gets on with him. And that works in his favour too as when you’re on one going backwards and he’s going forwards you get out of his way, where you might not with someone you get on less well with.
6.50pm Leopardstown – The Irish Champion Stakes
I just can’t see past Australia. The thing about him now is that he’s getting really relaxed and as you saw at York he only won by a couple of lengths but he was pulling up from the moment he hit the front, and ran around a little. It looked like he would have pulled out more. I just can’t see how the others are going to beat him.
3.50pm Doncaster – Ladbrokes St Leger
You’d have to have concerns about the way the ground has gone for Kingston Hill. I think it’s a bit of a sub standard race. Kingston Hill is a good horse but Snow Sky was put in his place good and proper by Postponed at York and Romsdal was well beaten in the King George. . Hartnell was disappointing last time. There’s alot of horses with something to prove so there could be a surprise. On the form Kingston Hill is the best horse in the race but the ground was getting very lively up the straight yesterday so it wouldnt be in his favour. And he’s by a horse, Mastercraftsman, who was best at a mile, so there has to be a doubt with him going an extra two and a bit furlongs. Doncaster is relentless. They never stop for a breather, and it’s an end to end gallop.
The Curragh on Sunday
The Moyglare (3.40 Curragh) looks a good race. Cursory Glance is the one they’ve all got to beat. Found was quite impressive first time up. I used to ride both their dams. But I definitely favour Cursory Glance. In the National Stakes I like Gleneagles alot because he quickens really well and then he idles when he gets to the front. So he’s one of those horses that’s never going to win too far but will last because he’s not giving himself a hard race each time. You can’t see past Leading Light in the Irish St Leger (4.50 Curragh). He won the trial the other day and was quite impressive.
11.13pm Woodbine, Canada – The Woodbine Mile Stakes
I fly back from Ireland to Newmarket on Saturday night and then leave at 8.20am on Sunday morning straight to Toronto. It’s not a bad flight and I’m looking forward to riding Trade Storm out there. He ran well there last year and we don’t have the champion, Wise Dan, to beat this time. Trade Storm was very foot sore in Dubai and he never realy showed his form but he’s run well on his two races back. I should have won on him at York but he was going too well for too long up the straight and he petered out close to home. He likes fast ground and he hasn’t really had it this year. The Sheikh’s had two years of fun with the horse and one day it will all fall into place for him in a Group 1 and hopefully that day will be on Sunday.