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Jamie Spencer harbours high hopes for Master at Donnie

| 11.09.2016

Nemoralia was disappointing yesterday. She just didn’t fire, and was beaten at halfway. It was too bad to be true. We will just have to see if anything comes to light.

I start today with a ride on Grey Britain for John Ryan in the 2.00. I don’t know much about him. He ran OK in the Gimcrack and finished fifth. Obviously this is a strong race and I was really impressed with Rivet last time, the way he quickened up at York. He will be hard to beat. We will see. It would be nice if my fella could pick up a place.

I ride Lexington Abbey in the Portland at 2.35. It could be his turn today. He might be drawn in the right place. I think the far side just hasn’t been used so far at the meeting. It could be the place to be drawn as there is a bit of pace around him. He’s well capable of winning a race like this and at a big price he definitely has a chance. He was drawn in the wrong place at York last time, and didn’t run badly. Captain Colby was only a couple of lengths in front of him but my horse was wiped out a furlong and a half out and took all my momentum away from me, so my horse ran a good bit better than the bare result. If Captain Colby is favourite I wouldn’t have thought my fellow would be far away from him.

Anyone of five could win the 3.10. Richard Pankhurst obviously ran well last time. My horse Buckstay won his race last time, and is a genuine horse, but whether he is up to winning a Group Two at the age of six is the question. We are flying pretty high with him and he’s got a place chance. He always runs his race. He’s kind of been a victim of his own success, as he’s high in the handicap now, and he’s probably not quite a Group horse, so your hands are tied where you can run him. I thought Toormore would be hard to beat the way the race is set up. I don’t think he’ll get too much pressure up front.

I can’t really see what will beat Idaho in the Ladbrokes St Leger. He looked so strong at the line at York. I made the running that day and Idaho made up a lot of ground, and then picked up when he went by me and was well on top at the finish. And that was his first run back from a little break. He could even improve on that performance.

My best chance of the day comes in the 4.20 on Harbour Master. He’s a nice progressive horse. He won at Lingfield and then stepped up and won really well at Sandown. The step up to a mile won’t be a problem, and it was good to soft when he won last time so if a bit of rain comes I wouldn’t be disappointed. He’s a good mover so if it doesn’t rain I wouldn’t be bothered either.

I ride Can’t Change It in the 4.50. He won at Goodwood well and then didn’t like the all weather at Newcastle. In the mile race at Glorious Goodwood he never got an ounce of daylight from a bad draw and the last time he ran he had a good draw but we went forward and I’m not sure that suited him. So we will drop him in and ride a waiting race. He’s had excuses on his last two starts and the time before he hated the track so I still have faith in him. You can’t change the sort of horse that goes along and every now and then he wins his race. I thought Third Time Lucky was a bit unlucky last time and he could be the biggest danger of them all. Banksea just seems to keep on going up in the weights. He’s gone up another 5lbs for his last run too.

In the last race I’m on Felix Mendelssohn at 6.00. He ran very well last week and I think he will have tightened up for it. He got dropped a pound by the handicapper very kindly for finishing third. So he’s on 95 now and I think he’s well capable of winning off 95.

Harbour Master is probably my best chance of the day as he’s coming into his race on a roll on the back of two wins. His confidence will be sky high and looks to have a good chance. But I also think Felix Mendelssohn has a good chance. Alot of the horses against him are out of form and he’s proved he’s running into form with that third last week.

The Irish Champion Stakes is an unbelievable race. They’ve all turned up and it’s as if the Arc is being run in Ireland. It will be interesting to watch. An awful lot depends on what happens with the weather. Harzand clearly likes some juice in the ground and so does Minding. The fact that the Coral-Eclipse winner is a 16/1 chance and the Prince of Wales winner is 33/1 tells you this is one seriously strong race. Wherever I am I’ll watch it, probably on my phone on the way home.




Jamie Spencer

Jamie Spencer is an Irish flat racing jockey currently riding in the UK. He has been champion jockey in both Ireland and Britain and has won four classics, two in each country.Spencer is widely regarded as one of the best, and most naturally talented, UK-based Jockeys. He is an advocate for the art of holding up horses late into the races, and then making use of their natural dash of speed. Jamie gives us the inside track on the world of racing each and every week with Coral.