Spencer confident of success from his six strong Saturday rides
I ride Hardington, a horse by Fastnet Rock, for Alan King in the first at Newbury (1.10pm). Alan’s had three two year old runners this year and none have won first time. But the fact that he’s running him at Newbury first time out would suggest he thinks a bit of him. It’s probably a watching brief and the Hamdan-owned horse Tabarrak will be hard to beat.
I’m on The Corsican in the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup at 1.45pm. I sat on him last Saturday and he’s a really good horse. If the ground was good I would be really confident of beating Eagle Top but the way the ground is it’s a little bit of an unknown. I wouldn’t be surprised if he still won but he’s a great mover, he’s a great traveller and he’s got a good kick, so will the ground suit him is the question? I was surprised at how nice a horse he is when I rode him last week.
The ground was just soft yesterday and now it’s the autumn it just won’t dry out. If anything I’d rather have a shower of rain to open it up and make it loser so they get through it easily, otherwise it will be very tiring ground. It was very tiring yesterday. In the mile and half handicap which James Doyle, the front two pulled way clear. If you didn’t handle it you got beat miles.
Top Tug is my mount in the 2.50pm for Sir Michael. I actually won a listed race on his dam. Back to a mile and a quarter today and he has a nice draw. He was drawn 20 of 20 at York last time so did a good bit of running to get into position so did well to come third. He has a nice draw today so should get a good position, we know he gets the trip well, so I thought he had a favourite’s chance. For the prize money it doesn’t look as strong a race as other years. The second favourite of Andrew’s won last week at Newmarket but before that had looked quite exposed. I ride bits and bobs for Sir Michael, but not that often, and this is a nice ride to pick up.
In the 3.25pm I ride Steps for Roger Varian. Steps is Steps. I rode out with Louis Steward before the Portland last week and I said to him if you can get a good start, (as I’d ridden him once and won on him once) and get him to travel the moment you leave the gates then you’ve got a good chance, but if he’s slowly away and lethargic, you’ll never get him going. It’s all about the beginning of the race. He needs cover, but he also needs to break well and get him travelling. There is pace around me today. Ridge Ranger showed a lot of speed at Beverley and Justice Day made all last time, so it should be perfect today. I’ll just track the leaders and time my run. He’ll like the ground and hopefully it might slow the rest of the down a bit.
I then fly by Helicopter to Newmarket to ride Bateel in the 5.00pm. I think she’s a really nice filly for David Simcock. She’ll love the ground and I will be disappointed if she doesn’t win. In the last race I’m on another dual winner Keystroke for Jeremy Noseda. He’s run twice and won twice and is still an inexperienced horse. He ended up doing it nicely at Windsor. Looked in trouble at halfway, then came good and won it well. I used to ride his dam for James Fanshawe and she loved soft ground. He looks to have a strong form chance.
Looking back at last weekend, I thought the stewards at Doncaster had a difficult decision to make. I would have said that on six and half out of ten occasions the winner would have kept the race. On the day I thought he’d keep the race, and I was at Leopardstown watching it and everyone was shocked when the result was changed. And that’s simply because the rules are not normally applied like that and results changed. Both jockeys gave very good evidence and it was just one of those things. It’s disappointing t to lose a Classic like that. It’s a bitter pill to swallow for Andrea, Sheikh Fahad and Ralph.
On Thursday I had a day off as it was the day of the appeal into Secret Gesture’s disqualification in the Beverley D. I had a two hour cross-examination on Skype with three lawyers which was interesting to say the least. One things for sure I won’t ever break a law in America! I was just glad I was in my kitchen in Newmarket and not in the court-room. They just tried to shred you as a person and as a jockey, they kept asking the same questions, and as demanding as it was it was also quite interesting as well. To see how the law works, and the mind games they play with each other. All you kept hearing was “I object your honour”…throughout the questioning. It was very different from any enquiry or appeal I’ve been involved in before. It will take another month before we find out. They spoke to loads of witnesses, Steve Cauthen, Irad Ortiz Jr, Joe Bravo, all the connections, all done individually.
I was very impressed by New Bay at Longchamp last Sunday, but Treve was seriously impressive. She just took up five furlongs out. She got a bit hindered by the pace maker, and then killed them. I can’t see what’s going to beat hear. The weather won’t beat her, her trainer knows how to prepare her, and if anything she looks better this year than last year. She’s right back to where she was the first year. She has that push button acceleration. Whatever was ailing her last year, after she flopped at Royal Ascot, seems to have gone. This year her trainer has boxed clever and Treve will have to massively underperform not to win.
I think Order St George is one of the best stayers we’ve seen for a long time. It cost my horse second trying to beat him in the Irish St Leger. We’d gone a real good gallop and it was like a helicopter had dropped him into the race. He just went by me. I couldn’t believe a horse was going that strongly. Air Force Blue was very impressive given it was real holding ground. Being by War Front he’ll put up a big performance when he gets better ground. Emotionless was also really good at Doncaster and it will make for a great Dewhurst if they both turn up.