Jamie Spencer expecting Gunnery to fire again at Newbury


It’s been a frustrating last couple of days, with a few seconds. My two big race rides yesterday ran well. Brando was a bit slowly away which didn’t help and was a bit tricky in the stalls but he ran a blinder. I think Koora ran a really good race for her first start of the year. We didn’t have much room up the straight. It was apparent there was a bias on the far rail, so everyone stayed over there and she didn’t have much running room, but she came home well. A mile and a half will be more her gig than a mile and a quarter on fast ground around York.

The ground was too lively for Cardinal Walter. He ran well but he didn’t let himself down like he would have done if there had been more rain. Glory Awaits ran a good race. He is what he is. He’s six now and on a rating of 100 but it looks as if it’s not too far away from his turn.

Monteverdi on Wednesday ran a really good race. That was the strongest three year old handicap run so far. I don’t think Frankie’s horse, Castle Harbour, will be hankering around in handicaps for much longer. He won very smoothly and was always going better than everybody. It looks like a race that could work out. Life Less Ordinary ran good race and just ran in to a very well handicapped winner. It’s never easy to win at these Festivals and so you’d be happy enough with how all the horses ran, and it’s just a case of onwards and upwards for most of them.

I thought the Dante was a good trial. The winner Wings Of Desire picked up very well. For a horse so lightly raced and inexperienced he came home well to nab Deauville. I suppose you could say that Ryan could have done with the horse in front of him taking Deauville for a furlong longer into the race but there are probably no excuses for him. Midterm was disappointing. He looked a very innocent horse in a man’s world. He got tight early on, and the bend comes up quickly. When he won at Newbury it was soft ground and he just got up. At Sandown it was a small field and easy ground and he had all the time in the world to get it together. Yesterday it all happened very fast, and he was out of his comfort zone.

In the Derby I do like US Army Ranger. When I saw him in the parade ring at Chester it was very apparent that Aidan had left a lot to work on. If the Derby was at the end of June rather than the start of June I’d be very confident in his chance. It’s just a question of whether they can tune the horse up between Chester and Derby Day. But if anyone can do it, Aidan can do it. I think he’s the most interesting horse at this stage, given his pedigree and everything else, he ticks all the boxes. Aidan has had runners in all the trials so he’ll no better than anyone where he starts.

In the Oaks, Minding has done it at a mile and is the Guineas winner which is always the strongest form. There is the comparison with Fireglow, who was beaten similar distances by both So Mi Dar and Minding. But I’d still have Minding ahead of So Mi Dar, but they both look exceptional fillies so the Oaks will make for great viewing this year.

I ride Medieval in the first today at Newbury. He has been working well, and better than a horse of Paul’s that came second yesterday at Newmarket. So based on his home work it bodes well and he is by Kodiac whose offspring don’t mind a bit of juice in the ground generally. So I’m looking forward to riding him and Paul Cole’s generally have a good record in these types of races at Newbury.

I ride Dougan for David Evans in the 3.10. I ride the odd one for David and I thought Dougan was a bit unlucky at Newmarket last time. I think they went a million miles an hour and he didn’t have much room late on, so I think you can mark up that form. He would go there with a good chance and my agent fancies him strongly.

Gunnery I do like a lot in the 4.50. They are saying the ground is Good to Soft, Soft in places. That will be no problem for my horse. He’s by Le Havre and has big feet and he does like to get his toe in. He is in off 85. I’d be disappointed if come the end of the season 85 is where he is. Apparently his work has been good since his win last time. They are putting a cross nose band on him because he raced with his mouth open and his tongue over the bit at Haydock, where he did a lot wrong and still won. So hopefully today we can get a bit more professional  today and see where we stand for the rest of the season.

I could have ridden at York today but it was all up in the air earlier in the week. David wasn’t sure what he was going to do with Curbyourenthusiasm, whether he was going to run today or wait for another race next weekend. So I had to make plans and was going to go to Newmarket today until I saw Gunnery was running at Newbury and so decided then to come here for him.

The Yorkshire Cup looks a difficult race for Curbyourenthusiasm. I won a Group 1 on Second Step in Germany and David’s horse has more than stone to find with Luca’s horse. I fancy Second Step to win the race because he runs well fresh and he likes fast ground. Luca’s horses are running really well, like Koora yesterday, so his horses are clearly well forward. Normally you would say the Cumani horses need a run but this year you wouldn’t say that. The Gosden horse, Flying Officer, has been kept away from fast ground until now, and it will be really quick ground at York today.


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