Luke Morris marks your Newmarket card and offers up two Sir Mark Prescott horses for Royal Ascot!
It was great to see my old all-weather rival Adam Kirby land the Victoria Cup at Ascot last weekend and I think he made some great points about being labelled as an “all-weather king”. Adam and I ride a lot of winners during the winter, and I was delighted and very proud to be all-weather champion jockey again, but that doesn’t mean we can’t and don’t succeed on the turf in the summer as well. It’s frustrating when people start to think that way about you. I perhaps don’t get as many chances on the turf – and that is what it is because it’s very competitive – but it can be aggravating when people do pigeonhole you as an all-weather rider.
It’s exactly what Adam was pointing out after he won at Ascot last week. The reason we ride as many winners as we do on the all-weather is because the likes of Ryan Moore and Silvestre de Sousa aren’t around and Adam Kirby and me are two of the main riders left. We take a lion’s share of what is around, and then because we’re riding better horses we get more winners and it’s self-perpetuating like that. I’m sure the people that look at it logically and practically see that’s the case, and you have to remember I’ve been fifth in the jockeys’ championship for the turf over the past two years as well.
One of the places I’d most like to be riding winners on the turf is at Royal Ascot in just over a month and I’m hoping my boss Sir Mark Prescott will have a few horses to run there. Amour De Nuit won nicely last week and is a possible for the Gold Cup although he would need to step up to run in that. At the same time, it’s great to be able to think of races like that for him. There’s also Time Warp, who rounded off last year by winning four races on the spin including a Listed race. He might be in the mix for something like the Britannia Handicap and is one that I’d be looking forward to. Marsha also has an entry at Ascot in the Commonwealth Cup and I’ve got plenty of confidence in her at Newmarket on Saturday:
Ghalib – 1.50 Newmarket
I won on him on very heavy ground at Ffos Las last year and he’s a horse that really wants to get his toe in. There has to be some doubts about him running with there not being much rain about, but if he does go he’s more than capable of running a big race. He’s a nice horse that can keep progressing in my opinion.
Sautter – 2.25 Newmarket
He didn’t show too much first time out, but trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam’s horses tend to come on from that first experience and I’m sure he’ll know more today. I suspect he’s one to keep an eye out for once he’s shown a bit more and maybe look for in handicaps down the line.
Marsha – 4.10 Newmarket
I’ve ridden her again at home this week and she went really well in a solo spin on Tuesday. I’m very hopeful that off a mark of 95 in a handicap that there’s much more to come from her. I’d be disappointed if she didn’t go close in this race. She should get the fast ground she likes, she’s drawn nicely and she’s got more to come than some of the others.
All the best,