Ana O'Brien will return as good as ever

By Paul Mulrennan
Sat 22 Jul 2017

I wanted to start off by wishing Anna O’Brien a full and speedy recovery following her fall on Tuesday, which resulted in her fracturing vertebrae in her neck and back.

Fortunately, and touch wood, I have never suffered anything as bad as that, although I have had all sorts of injuries; I’ve broken my right leg, my left collarbone, my ribs and also punctured my lungs.

What I would say to Ana is that she can’t rush her recovery. She has to be absolutely sure she's ready to return and is 100 per cent fit and healthy. If you come back too soon, it can put you back a long way, both physically and mentally.

That said, I have no doubt Ana will return to the saddle as good as ever. She’s been riding at all the meetings in Ireland and always has to be on her A-game. It’s tough in Ireland and she’s clearly made of the right stuff. You just have to look at her pedigree to see that!

I’m riding a doubleheader on Saturday, kicking off with two rides at Ripon. I’m delighted to ride for Simon Crisford for the first time. He’s another Newmarket trainer who's using me and it’s really satisfying that these big names are putting me up when they send a horse up north. His horses are in great form too with five winners from his last 17 runners.

Simon's Arizona Mist runs in the Mick Gibbons Memorial EBF Novice Stakes and looks like she will definitely improve from her last run at Nottingham this month.

I rode Dark Profit to win at Ayr last month and he won nicely at Carlisle afterwards. He’s gone up 7lb since then but I reckon there’s more to come and he’s in the plum draw of stall one in the VW Van Centre (West Yorkshire) Handicap.

I’m then off to Haydock to ride Start Time for Paul Midgley in the Betfred Follow Us On Twitter Conditions Stakes. He used to be trained by Saeed bin Suroor and last ran at Meydan in February 2016, so there's not much I can tell you about him.

It’s a similar story with Kashmiri Sunset, who joins Iain Jardine from Gordon Elliott. He has not run since October 2016, when he finished down the field at The Curragh.

However, I wouldn’t put anyone off backing him in the Betfred Like Us On Facebook Handicap, given Iain’s horses are absolutely flying at the moment, as we saw with his double at Hamilton on Thursday.

Thornton’s second career run was very eye-catching. He was staying on nicely and enjoyed the slow ground that day at Wetherby. I don’t think the surface at Newcastle suited him when he came seventh on his next run.

If the ground has some juice then Michael Dods's two-year-old will go there with a winning chance in the Betfred Super League Handicap. It would also be great to ride a winner for the owner, David Armstrong, who lives close to Haydock.

David and Michael are also represented at Redcar on Sunday with Tebay, who runs in the first division of the Get The Sky Bet Advantage EBF Novice Stakes.

He will improve a lot for his debut fifth at Carlisle and this step up to seven furlongs will suit, so he’d have a chance, while I’d give Art Obsession a chance too in the Sky Bet Go-Racing-In-Yorkshire Summer Festival Handicap. I liked the way he won at Doncaster last time and Paul Midgley’s horses are flying at the moment.

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