Jamie Spencer thinks Salt Island has a big chance on Lockinge day
Looking back at the Musidora you’d have to say that for nine of the ten and a half furlongs you’d have been delighted with Star Of Seville but I was rather disappointed with her from then on. Having looked like she was in total control she seemed to empty. I know Frankie said she found more when the other filly came to her but you have to take into account the fact that she’d already had a run and she was getting 4lbs. Out of the two you’d have to be saying Aidan’s filly, Together Forever, is the one to take out of the race. Of them all in the Oaks I think Found is the one. She looks the classiest of them all. As I’ve said before on her pedigree she wouldn’t be a glutton for a mile and a half but if you’re classy you can get away with it round Epsom.
I think Golden Horn had the run of the race in the Dante, whereas at Newmarket he didn’t have the run of the race but still won. Jack Hobbs was three wide and a bit keen. I think he’d be the one I’d pick from the race. He was still quite babyish, on the outside with no cover, whereas Golden Horn had a beautiful race, just no hassle at all. If you watch from the start he was the only horse that was totally relaxed through the whole race. It’s a long way down the home straight at York when you’ve gone a good gallop and you could see he was the only horse who had really conserved his energy and that really played out in the last furlong and a half. I don’t think there’s as much between Golden Horse and Jack Hobbs as people might think after the race. I think going a mile and a half with Jack Hobbs will bring out more improvement. It was a very good Dante. If both Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs run I’d be surprised if they aren’t both involved in the finish. Aidan O’Brien has fired a fair few bullets and I don’t think the horse at Chester, Hans Holbein, is a star. Unless Giovanni Canaletto comes out and does something special, for the first time in a handful of years Ballydoyle don’t seem to have a strong hand in the Derby. Elm Park ran a good race. He looks like a horse that’s going to stay well this year. You’d be looking at all the mile and a half races and possibly the St Leger later on.
I ride Salt Island in the 2.35pm at Newbury. He is a good horse. I really like this horse. Most sprinters are edgy and show a lot of speed and can be flashy. This horse is the complete opposite. He’s lazy, he’s sloppy going down to the start, but once he leaves the gate he’s nice and relaxed and he travels well. At Newmarket he won by a handful of lengths but you couldn’t but be impressed with him the way he picked up. He’s only had three runs, and he probably wouldn’t want too much rain, but he’s taking on horses that are exposed so I really think he’s got a big chance. John Gosden’s horse Waady is coming through the handicap ranks as well so he’s a danger.
The Lockinge Stakes at 3.45pm looks a good race. You’d have to say the way the draw looks to be working out at Newbury that Night of Thunder is in a good position. In the seven furlong maiden yesterday the first nine home were drawn one to nine so there looked a big draw bias. But everyone will be on to that. Custom Cut and Arod are drawn higher and they race prominently but the race sets up well overall for Night of Thunder. Hannon’s horses are running well so I can’t see any reasons why he can’t be strong in the race. My horse Cable Bay needs soft ground and a mile probably stretches him stamina wise. Trade Storm is probably 7lbs below the form to win a race like this. He can probably run fifth or sixth. He’ll be better when he goes on his travels again.
I then head to Doncaster. Dai Walters has a helicopter and I rode a winner for him last week at Chester so getting a lift to Doncaster is my present! My first ride there is on Emaratiya Ana in the 6.15pm. She’s high in the handicap so will need to have improved over the winter. It doesn’t look the greatest race so she has a chance.
Top Of The Bank in the 6.45pm is probably the main reason I’m going there. Kevin likes him a lot. He’s been working nicely. I’ve been up to Kevin’s probably seven or eight times this year and this is a very good looking horse that stands out in the string. He’s been getting it together over the spring so while I’m not saying he will win I’ll be disappointed if he isn’t there or thereabouts.
My mount Presto Boy in the 7.15pm has got a squeak. He ran well in a handicap the other day. He looks a little bit limited but it’s a bad race for this time of year. I suppose Dark Profit will be the main danger but James Fanshawe’s horses do start coming into form as you get towards June.
I ride Puissant in the 7.45pm who was fifth to Golden Horn last time. He didn’t stay last time and he wouldn’t want the ground too lively tonight. If it was good or a little easier I’d fancy his chances off 95 against these lesser horses. I’ll probably jump off and make the running, let him bowl along. He gets a mile well but I think he’ll like a strongly run mile. He won really well in the spring and he’s better than this mark. I think he’s quite a good horse.
In the last race, the 8.45pm, I ride Ustinov. I won a maiden on him at Nottingham. He’s a fast ground horse and has bundles of ability. He’s a little bit nervous, he runs on his nerves a bit, so he’ll need to relax, take his time and come through. Go Dan Go has been winning races so he is the one to beat, but if Ustinov can do the right things in the first half of the race, I’m sure he’ll come good and come strong in the second half of the race. He’ll probably be a big price.