Jamie Spencer gunning for success at Haydock and Doncaster
I ride Gunnery for Peter Chapple-Hyam at Haydock in 1.40pm. He’s been ready to run for a while, it was just a case of finding the right race. He’ll like the ground. It doesn’t look the strongest of races beyond the Gosden newcomers. I’d be very disappointed if Gunnery doesn’t take the beating. He has a nice draw and everything looks in place for him to go well. I ride a bit for Peter. It looks like he’s got a good chance in the Guineas too. So should be an exciting week for him.
Then I’m on Outback Traveller in the 2.10pm. He’s still 9lbs higher than his highest winning mark, but he was on a mark of 107, having just got beaten in a handicap off 105, so he’s now on 102 with a new trainer and he’s been gelded. So he’s probably well enough handicapped if he can run to his best form. A little bit of juice in the ground will help him but it’s probably a watching brief on his first run for Robert. I’m sure he’ll be winning races at some stage. I go down to ride work at Robert’s from time to time when it suits us both. His horses are running reasonably well so we’ll see.
It’s a driving day tomorrow as having travelled up to Haydock for my first two rides I then get into the car and drive across to Doncaster for my next three, and then back down to Newmarket. It’s a long day, nearly eight hours in the car.
At Doncaster in the 5.00pm I ride Purple Raven. She ran well on her first start this year over a mile and a quarter at Nottingham. Now she’s stepping up in trip but her dam won the Northumberland Plate so it should suit. So the mile and a half trip should be a help as will her experience of running in a handicap last time. You’d obviously have to respect the Ed Dunlop horse, Opposition, on pedigree.
In the 5.35pm I ride Croquembouche, a horse I’ve never ridden before. He’s usually a front runner. I don’t know much about him. He’s come down a few pounds to 90 in the handicap so that will help. It’s a watching brief. American Artist will be hard to beat in this.
Finally at 7.05pm I’m on Show Legend. He’s won at the track and is a horse I’ve ridden a few times in the last few weeks. I rode him on Wednesday. This is a good starting point. He’s fresh and well. There are a few unexposed horses in the field but we like him and think he can do better this year.
Everything is going smoothly. David Simcock hasn’t yet kicked into gear and Michael Bell is only just getting into gear so it’s all building up nicely.