Jamie Spencer on his two big race rides tonight at Woodbine on ATR
It’s been a good season, numerically particularly, and I have half an eye on reaching a century of winners. I would need to be in the 90s by the end of September and then take it from there. I have Melbourne Cup and possibly the Breeders Cup to go to. Then I’ll probably tip away on the all- weather until the end of November, and then have all of December off.
I land in Toronto today at 11am Canadian time (4pm UK time) and have two rides in the Group Ones at Woodbine in the afternoon. The airport is just around the corner from Woodbine so straight after my second race I’ll head to the airport and fly home.
Sheikh Fahad asked me three weeks ago if I would ride Mr Owen in the Woodbine Mile at 11.39pm (live on AtTheRaces), and then I picked up the ride on Majeed in the Northern Dancer, when David decided to run him there too. Mr Owen ran in the race last year but looks a better horse this year. His dam won the EP Taylor at the track. He has been running consistently this year including second to Vadamos last time out, and Vadamos won the Prix Moulin last weekend. His form is at a better level this year. Obviously Tepin will be hard to beat but she’s running on first time Lasix which is a bit of a surprise given she’s raced clean so far. The fact that she’s running on Lasix for the first time at this stage in her career is a bit of a surprise. She hasn’t run since Ascot so we’ll just have to see. She looks the one to beat though. She was gutsy at Ascot. She didn’t have much cover, she raced close to the pace and the ground was probably softer than she’d encountered in America. There was plenty against her and she got through it so you have to admire her. I’m under no illusions that she’ll be a tough nut to crack but I just have to hope that as she hasn’t run since June she may not run to her best. The fact that she’s on first time Lasix I’m not sure if you’d take that as a positive or a negative.
In the Northern Dancer at 10.31pm (live on AtTheRaces) I’m on Majeed. He got beaten a short head in a listed race the other day. I thought Big Blue Kitten and World Approval look the big dangers, and The Pizza Man won the Arlington Million last year so it’s a good race. Given that it’s not huge prize money I’m surprised it’s as strong a race as it is. Majeed goes there with an each way chance. If he finishes third he pays for his trip. He’s one of those horses that you can’t hit the front on too early so we’ll just follow them along. It wouldn’t bother him if they don’t go too fast as that won’t test his stamina then.
It’s nice to travel anywhere and as a jockey if you get the chance to ride around the world you don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone. You effectively are getting paid to see the world. You ride at different tracks and against different jockeys and it means you’re learning all the time. I’ve been very lucky in Canada over the years. I think I’ve won three or four Grade 1s there. It’s been a lucky track for me. I’ve won The Northern Dancer twice so I’m looking forward to it tonight. The world is a much smaller place now. It’s so much easier to travel there and back within a day.