- On Course
- July 15, 2015
15th July 2015
On target for the summer highlight at Market Rasen
The races on Betfred & The Journal Ladies’ Day at Market Rasen are ones that my dad’s yard has always targeted. And 2015 is no exception.
We don’t have a horse for the valuable Listed Summer Plate, but we have one lined up for the Listed Summer Hurdle. Curious Carlos is at the top of his game at the moment and must have a great chance of landing the winner’s share of the £35,000 prize-money.
He’s a very nice horse, has loads of speed and I believe that the track at Market Rasen will really suit him.
He didn’t have a victory to his name in eight outings last season but he’s come on since and registered his first win in May at Uttoxeter. The ground was soft that day, but he’s more effective on a faster surface. He was just touched off by a good horse at Aintree, before winning again at Ffos Las – and the horse he beat that day is a consistent sort so the form is good.
The big Market Rasen meeting is on Saturday, 18th July. A date that is definitely one for the diaries.
The new season
I’m pleased with the way the new jumps season is going.
It’s no surprise that Paul Nicholls, for whom I am a conditional jockey, is quiet – he always is at this time of year. However, my family’s yard is not as busy this summer as usual. We have more young horses than before that will be seen out in the autumn and winter.
We’ve got about 20 in training at the moment and I’ve based myself here for the summer until I return to Somerset and the champion jumps trainer’s stables.
It means that I have been riding for a larger number of trainers, like Seamus Durack and Emma Lavelle, than I might have expected. That’s been good and my agent Dave Roberts is doing a great job in finding me some decent rides.
Richard Johnson, who has just taken over as jumps president of the Professional Jockeys Association from Tony McCoy, is well on his way to succeeding AP as champion jump jockey too.
He’s already gone past 50 winners for the season, the quickest time in which he has ever reached the half century.
Of course, there’s a long way to go until next April but, barring injury, he looks set fair to be the champion. No one deserves it more, after finishing as runner-up to AP so many times.
Although I didn’t have any rides at Market Rasen for the opening meeting in July, I was at the track to support my younger brother James in one of the two pony races. It was a great delight that he won and I was asked to present him with his prize!
Pony racing was a superb introduction to race-riding for me. It offers experience of a race-day and riding a finish. That was invaluable as I pursued my dream of becoming a jockey.
One ‘novice’ rider who isn’t involved is pony racing though is Olympian cycling champion Victoria Pendleton.
She had her first ride in a charity race at Newbury at the start of July. That was just a few months after sitting on a horse for the first time.
What she’s doing is brilliant – and it will be some achievement if she fulfils her ambition of riding in the Foxhunters Chase at the Cheltenham Festival next March. I hope she can do it and she’s got the support of all the boys in the weighing room.