Jamie speculates on his Bid for the Victoria Cup at Ascot
My first ride of the day is on Instant Karma in the 2.00pm. I think he’ll run a lot better than last time out. I had him handy that day and there wasn’t much pace so I put him into the race at the five pole and he was just too inexperienced for it all. The ground was quite quick too. Back on a conventional track and on nice ground I think he’ll run a good deal better. It wouldn’t surprise me if he is there or thereabouts.
I ride Farquhar for Peter Chapple-Hyam in the 2.35pm. He won a big handicap at Newmarket two starts ago last year, and a good Haydock race earlier in the season. He has a bit to find on the ratings. He looks up against it so I’m just hoping he’ll run well. I ride a bit for Peter. He’s had a quiet start to the year so hopefully his horses are going to settle into form soon.
I ride Speculative Bid for David Elsworth in the Victoria Cup at 3.45pm. He’s very much a horse man and a nice man to ride for. His horses always come first. I’ve ridden this horse three times and won on him three times so he’s been good to me. Last time he overcame a slow pace and ran the race very keenly. He did well to win actually given how well he’d pulled for the first four furlongs. I didn’t expect him to be able to pick up but he did. I rode him positively that day because there was no pace in the race but today I’ll go back to conventional drop-in tactics as he won well when dropped in the previous time. I think he’s one of those horses that if you get him to relax early he’ll have plenty to give from the three pole. It’s a very tough race and god knows where the best draw is. In the six furlong handicap I rode in last night the draw made no difference. They all flashed passed the line together from different draws. They may split and sometimes they race in three groups. Hopefully with such a big field there’ll be a strong pace and we’ll come through and put up a bold show.
In the maiden at 4.20pm I ride Kyllukey for Charlie Hills. I haven’t ridden him at home. Charlie is very happy with him. With Charlie his two year olds improve for a run. A few of his have been placed but they’ve looked as if they’ve needed the run. So it’s a watching brief but he generally runs his nice ones at Ascot. I enjoy riding young horses. I always think riding a two year old first time out is like a child having their first day at school. If they have a bad experience they won’t want to go back the next day. It’s essential they have a nice experience so they can look forward to their next run. It drives me demented when I see a two year old getting hammered first time out. They rarely come forward for it and often don’t end up any good when you look back at the history of these horses.
In the last race at 4.55pm I ride Smidgen for Ed de Giles. He’s got a squeak. He ran well at Windsor on Monday when he gave away his chance by hanging across the track. If he goes in a straight line you’d like to think he’d have a good each way chance.
On Sunday I head to France to ride Maarek who won the Abbaye a couple of years ago. The ground is soft which will suit him. There should be a decent pace and he ran well at Naas twelve days ago so he should be spot on for this. I’m flying out there with Andrea Atzeni, Kevin Ryan and Ryan Moore. It should be good fun.