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Kirby Calls It

Our All-Weather Champion columnist, Adam Kirby, returned from South Africa on Tuesday, where he spent a week participating in a Jockey Challenge along with fellow weigh room colleagues James Doyle and Martin Harley.

The 26 year-old is eager to make up for the lost time in his pursuit of winning the Jockeys Championship for the third successive year.

That drive has been very much in evidence as he returned during the week with a bang, ridding two successive doubles, including a win on Unforgiving Minute whom he recently put forward in his ’10 to Follow’.

Here he shares his thoughts on his ten rides over the next two days.

Friday

4:40 Wolverhampton

I just have the one ride at Wolverhampton this evening. I ride Silver Mirage for Mr Bell. It’s a very average race so I’d be hopeful of her running a big race. I was third on her in Wolverhampton maiden two weeks ago. She’s no world beater but she has a good draw, she jumps, she goes forward and is uncomplicated but I’d be more hopeful than confident. I would say she has a chance in a poor event.

Saturday

12:55 Lingfield

I’ve two rides at Lingfield on Saturday, both for Mr Appleby. I put up Four Seasons as one to follow a few weeks ago. I really like him. He’s a lovely horse, with a lovely attitude and has a high cruising speed. It’ll take a nice horse to beat him. I won on him at Kempton and he gave me a good feel. It’s obviously a very strong race, the opposition is quite good but he’s also good and goes there with every chance. He’s probably my best chance over the next few days. I know how good he is, it’s all depending on how good his opposition is, but I think he’ll run a massive race.

2:35 Lingfield

I ride History Book here. I haven’t ridden her before in a race but all of Mr Appleby’s are in good form. To be honest it looks a wide open race. She’s the highest rated in it and carries top weight but she seems consistent. She was third at Wolverhampton in early October and the winner of that race went on to win a handicap in Newmarket. So hopefully we go there with every chance.

5:45 Wolverhampton

I’m back at Wolverhampton on Saturday evening with seven rides. I ride Smokethatthunders in the opener for James Unett. He’s a small trainer but a good trainer. The horse is badly drawn in trap thirteen. He’s consistent and won two starts back at Leicester. He was unlucky at Wolverhampton before that when headed on the line. He was drawn from stall ten that evening. I think if he had a good draw he’d probably have every chance but he needs to be good enough to overcome the draw, which is very hard at Wolverhampton.

6:45 Wolverhampton

I’m aboard Barchan for Mr Appleby. This horse hung really badly for some unknown reason last time out. It’s still a mystery to everybody why he behaved like that. I think we’d be hopeful of getting him round without any of the hanging and move on from there. Hopefully he’ll be fine, but when horses hang like that he does make it awkward for the jockey. He gave Cam Hardie a rough ride and they did well to finish so close but hopefully I can get him to overcome that. If he behaves he has a chance.

7:15 Wolverhampton

I ride Mountainside in this one again for Mr Appleby. It looks a wide open race and a good maiden. He’s run twice, was fifth on his debut at Kempton and was placed in a maiden in Yarmouth in July. The second horse went on to win his maiden. It’s hard to know really, you’ve got three or four newcomers, so it’s difficult to know what the opposition will be like. I think it’ll be a learning curve for everyone.

7:45 Wolverhampton

Another maiden here and again I’m on one for Mr Appleby in Sparring. He’s first time out so it’ll be a learning curve, a first day at school for him. He is very well bred and I’m obviously hopeful things go well for him. There’s three other making their debuts here so it’s a very hard race to assess. But I hope he gives me a good spin and learns from the experience.

8:15 Wolverhampton

I’m on Lacey for Andrew Hollinshead in the two miler. I’ve been third on him on twice. He won at the track over a mile and six last December off 1Ib less but needs everything to go his way. He probably needs up his game a little bit to be winning against these, but if he brings his form to the table, he’s got every chance.

8:45 Wolverhampton

I ride Monsieur Chevalier for Jamie Osborne in the Claimer. This horse was very good 2yo, he won the Weatherbys Super Sprint and has bits and pieces of form. I think a change of scenery with a change of yard might be the key here as I believe he’s recently changed yards so hopefully that might spark a bit of improvement in him. It looks quite a poor event. So if he brings his old form and the change of scenery has woken him up, he should run a big race.

9:15 Wolverhampton

My final ride of the evening is on Aldo. I haven’t ridden him before but I saw him run last time, I rode in the race. He was very keen early and he was beaten a long way out. I think the last time he went to the races he misbehaved and didn’t even take part. So we’re just hopeful of getting him round and try and learn something about him for me and the trainer.