Harry Bentley discusses his Saturday rides, looks back at his flying visit to Canada last weekend and gives the latest on Chantilly-bound Limato ahead of next weekend's Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe meeting.
Ayr has lost all three days of their Gold Cup Festival, which is a massive shame. Obviously there's something wrong with the track. A certain spot on the course seems to have an underlying issue because apparently the rest of the track isn't too bad. I imagine there will have to be some drainage work done.
It's had a knock-on effect for me. I lost my first ride at Newbury on Friday for Joseph Tuite because the Ayr abandonment meant Oisin Murphy could make the ride on Avon Green.
And I was really looking forward to riding Take Cover in the Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes at Newbury on Saturday, but I'm not riding him. David Allan has been taken away from Ayr and put back on him.
Take Cover is obviously David's ride, really, so you can understand it but even so it's very frustrating for me.
In 2013 I was meant to ride him at Ascot, and he was taken out on unsuitable ground. He's obviously a very consistent horse who won this year's Beverley Bullet and some good races at Goodwood and I think he has a great chance in that race at Newbury. I'd say he brings in a lot of good form. There are some other good horses there but I'd say Take Cover is the standout.
At this stage, I do keep my other Newbury rides on Saturday and they include Dylan Mouth in the other Group Three, the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes. Dylan Mouth was a very good horse in Italy and he came here and disappointed for a while.
He ran in Dubai a few times and lost his way but I won the Old Newton Cup handicap on my first ride on him in July. It was a really good performance off top weight and if he can replicate that - which he hopefully can - he would be in with a good chance.
That said, if you look through the race there are some good horses in it, like Second Step, Desert Encounter and My Dream Boat, who is a Group One winner. It's a strong race with good horses in it, as a Group Three should be. It's over 1m 3f, so a furlong less than he ran over last time, but that shouldn't be a problem.
Also at Newbury, I ride Roger Varian's Sam Gold in the novice race over seven furlongs. I was due to ride him at Sandown in July but he didn't load into the stalls. He then made his debut at the same course three weeks ago and I'm quite hopeful if he's able to build on that first run.
I can understand why my last ride at Newbury, Curlew River, is a big price. We're drawn 10. He won three races out of four at the start of the year and I think went up 10lbs for that. He has struggled since then and the handicapper may have a bit of a hold on him. I think he could run well but needs to show a bit more than he has done recently.
I've then got a drive of just under two hours, which isn't too bad, to take up a couple of rides at Wolverhampton in the evening. The first of those is Rasima in the 7.40. She's a two-year-old filly who I rode on her debut at Kempton when she ran really well. I thought she'd have a nice chance next time but the ground had perhaps gone too soft at Goodwood and I would definitely put her in the mix on Saturday. She will be very close. We're drawn in stall one, which is really good at Wolverhampton.
My last Saturday ride is on William Knight's Gavlar (Wolverhampton, 8.10). It's a handicap over two miles and he's carrying top weight so he's got it all to do. It's not a bad little race and he could be one who is quite badly treated by the handicapper, but if he reproduces some of his best form he could be thereabouts.
Last weekend I flew out to Canada to ride Arod at Woodbine. He finished fifth and if you'd looked at his form from Australia you'd be happy with how he ran - it was a big build on what he's done recently. I had a decent enough trip round. For a stride or two things got a little bit bunched up but not enough to stop any momentum and I think he finished his race nicely. David Simcock has done a good job with him so he can target a few Group Threes and Listed races now and hopefully get back to winning ways. I think they might have retired him already if they wanted him to be a stallion.
With Arc weekend coming next weekend, I'm obviously hopeful Limato will run in the Prix de la Foret, which we won last year. It all depends on ground. If it comes up too soft I'm sure they won't run but fingers crossed it stays on the quicker side. It is his next target and I'm looking forward to the race. All reports are that he's in good form so it is all systems go.