It’s been a fair week, one in which Kempton Park’s all-weather surface has been a happy hunting ground for me.
First up, Miss Yoda got me rolling with a victory on Monday afternoon for the boss, JohnGosden.
This was her very first taste of the racecourse so to keep her nice and calm we mounted her in the chute heading out onto the track.
Evidently that tactic was effective given that as the race unfolded she relaxed nicely and then lengthened away to score in decisive fashion.
That experience and success will have done her confidence a world of good, so fingers crossed there’s plenty more to come in due course.
Just over 48 hours later I had the pleasure of resuming my partnership with a horse who gave me a winner on his debut at Chelmsford last winter, Dubai Warrior.
Once talked of a possible for the Derby before a small setback intervened, he made light of a 272-day absence to win readily, powering away to prevail by four and a half lengths.
It took me a while to pull him up once we’d passed the post, a sure sign he’s got a great engine.
The boss has given him a number of high profile entries in the coming months, including the Arc.
It would be brilliant to think he could keep progressing to that kind of level after being held up ‘til now. This was certainly a step in the right direction.
Looking ahead, I’m lucky to be operating on my own doorstep on Saturday afternoon, with a book of four rides for team Gosden on the Newmarket July course.
I start off in the opener aboard Leaf Hopper in the opening seven furlong “newcomers” fillies’ maiden at 2.00pm.
As the name of the race suggests, this is for horses having their first taste of the track. My filly is a daughter of Dark Angel who I very much hope will enjoy her first outing and learn plenty.
Next up at 2.35pm I’m on another of Dark Angel’s offspring, the colt Light Angel in the seven furlong nursery.
He’s top weight in this two year old handicap, probably deservedly so given the spin he gave me at Newbury in May when winning his maiden.
Down the field in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, he then ran a fair second to a good horse of Godolphin’s last time out, Path Of Thunder.
Hopefully he has a strong chance in a tricky contest which features three last time out winners. If pushed I’d nominate Light Angel as my best chance of a Saturday winner.
There’ll be no pausing for breath as I’m also engaged in race three on the card, with another top weight in the form of 101-rated Beatboxer my mount in the 3.10pm, a mile handicap forthree year olds.
He was unable get involved when forced to race in the nearside group in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot, but hopefully this contest will prove to be more his cup of tea.
I’m two from three when riding him, including when he picked up Haydock’s Silver Bowl back in May. By Scat Daddy, hopefully the rain will stay away to boost his chance.
Finally, Mr Gosden puts me up on the talented but enigmatic Waldstern in the mile and a quarter handicap at 4.55pm.
This is another of the boss’s horses who’ve been good to me, providing me with a winner on his racecourse debut at this track exactly a year ago.
He’s back down in trip here having been tried over further this season, a campaign in which he hasn’t yet shown his best in two runs to date after a gelding operation last winter. The boss has also opted to fit a first-time visor.
He’s got ability, I just hope he can show it at a track we know he enjoys.
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