It’s foot on the pedal time with the Flat season at its peak.
I’ve ridden for 10 different trainers in the last two weeks, a theme which continues on Friday as I head to two racecourses, for a total of five rides, on horses representing three different stables. Busy isn’t the word.
2.30 Yarmouth – EBF Novice Median Auction Stakes
I enjoy riding at Yarmouth and my day kicks off in their second race, a novice sprint over six furlongs. I’m on Ed Dunlop’s Boston Girl in this, a filly by Zebedee who has taken time to develop and is still learning her trade. I’ve ridden her on both starts to date; she was very green on debut at Chelmsford, but was slightly better at Nottingham last time. She’s probably going to be one for handicaps as she gains experience and finds her level.
3.40 Yarmouth – Cliff Hotel Handicap
Ed Dunlop also supplies my mount in this mile and a quarter 0-60 handicap, with his Homesick Boy a horse I know and have ridden twice previously. Quiet last time out, he put in a lacklustre run when down the field at Brighton. I wouldn’t be too hasty to mark him down for that though, as he simply didn’t handle the track. The hope is that the switch to a nice flat course like this will help rejuvenate him. After all, this drop in trip from a mile and a half comes only three runs since he put in a good shift when a well fancied third at Beverley in May. Down a few pounds, I hope he can get back to that sort of level.
4.45 Yarmouth – Work Flow Handicap
The boss, John Gosden, puts me up on the talented Marhaba Milliar in this seven furlong 0-90 handicap, his first try beyond six furlongs. A son of Kodiac, I rode this progressive sprinter on all three starts in 2018, resulting in a debut win at Ascot, a follow-up victory at Yarmouth, plus a brave second at Chelmsford 300 days ago. He wasn’t 100% sound after that outing, so understandably he’s been given plenty of time to find his feet again. He’s moving well at home and hopefully this step up in trip suits.
5.20 Yarmouth – Warners Holidays Handicap
The last of my four Yarmouth rides comes on John Butler’s Enzo in the last race on the card, a mile 0-55 handicap. I’d be misleading you if I claimed to know much about this fellow as he’s not one I’ve sat on previously. Hopefully he can acquit himself well and give me a good spin before I head away to Newmarket.
8.30 Newmarket – Coates & Seely Fillies’ Novice
Fabulist is the reason I stop in at Newmarket’s July course on the way home. Drying ground will really help this daughter of Dubawi, a horse we like. I was on board first time out when the boss sent her up to Newcastle in December. She was predictably green that day but finished off her race well. Frankie then rode her at Newbury over a mile and a quarter where he felt she’d benefit from this drop back to a mile, so here we are. She’s probably my best chance of a winner on the day.
Finally, I’ll be at Newmarket again on Saturday afternoon, but in-between rides I’ll be keeping one eye on events elsewhere. A race definitely worth watching is the 3.35 Newcastle, the historic Northumberland Plate. If I was up there and landed with a last minute spare ride, I think perhaps King’s Advice might be the one you’d want to be one. By a winning machine, out of a winning machine, his dad was the mighty Frankel, his mother Queen’s Logic, a tough mare who won all five starts including the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes. King’s Advice is improving and has exactly the right profile. He’s been in front on all six starts for Mark Johnston and seemingly doesn’t know how to get beat.
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