Luke Morris has a sprinter to the forefront of his mind this weekend and one that he can’t wait to ride!
I have been a massive fan of Minding all winter and last week she looked absolutely from the top draw when winning the 1,000 Guineas. She travels really strongly in her races and she has that change of gear that top horses possess. She just kills other horses with it and it was awesome to watch. She’s likely to head to Epsom next and it will be very interesting to see whether her owners go down the Oaks route or the Derby route with her. Personally, I’d be pretty convinced they’d go down the Oaks route with her although it would be a wonderful spectacle to see her take on the colts in the Derby, something a filly hasn’t done for a long time. It’s always difficult for fillies to take on the colts, especially when you have the chance to race against your own sex in the Oaks anyway.
The other thing to consider is that her owners Coolmore are likely to have plenty of options for the Derby and it’s important for them to be producing horses that can be stallions. It’ll be more valuable for them to win the Derby with a colt than a filly.
Aidan O’Brien’s other main Classic hope Air Force Blue was a big disappointment in the 2,000 Guineas, but if you read my blog last week you’d have seen I did have question marks about him before the race. He travelled through the race fine and just failed to pick up so you have to wonder if he’s truly trained on from two to three. He’s been entered in the July Cup so maybe he didn’t stay and he’ll go back sprinting, but he was so good at two you have to wonder if he is still that good now. A sprinter is at the front of my mind this weekend as I ride one of the horses I am most looking forward to this season at Nottingham.
Outrage – 2.40 Nottingham
I won his maiden on him at Windsor and he felt like a nice big horse that was going to keep progressing. He doesn’t look like he’s been the easiest to train and has taken a bit of time, but he’s taking on some exposed handicappers in this and there is likely to be more to come from him. There is loads of pace in this race and I’d like to think he’ll be able to track the leaders and if he’s straight enough first time I think he’s got a really good chance.
Brittleton – 3.15 Nottingham
I won on him earlier on last year but didn’t ride him afterwards when he looked to lose his form a little. Whether the handicapper just had a grip on him at the time or if he was over the top I’m not sure, but I hope he can get back to where he was earlier in the season. He felt like a nice improving stayer when I rode him and if he’s progressed over the winter like they do then he should be able to run well. The only slight concern is that he wouldn’t want the ground to dry out too much.
Marsha – 3.50 Nottingham
This doesn’t look the strongest Listed race and I was delighted with this filly when I had a sit on her at home this week. At home she’s an absolute rocket and I do worry a little bit about whether she’ll truly stay six furlongs as her runs last year suggested that five furlong was her thing. Ability-wise I think she’s more than capable of beating these horses and I’m confident she’ll be a good filly this season. She’s an exuberant filly and a strong traveller so I’ll need to be on my ‘A game’ from stall one to get her across and covered over this longer trip.
Brave Archibald – 4.55 Nottingham
This horse has only run on the turf at the start of his two-year-old career so there is a little question mark about whether he can reproduce his all-weather form on the grass. I would be surprised if it was an issue though. His trainer Paul Cole normally has his horses pretty fit after a break and he’s an uncomplicated horse who will give his running. It will just be a case of whether some of the unexposed horses in there have a bit more up their sleeve than he does.
All the best,