The Racing TV ambassador picks out three of his mounts to follow on Saturday in his regular column.
John McCririck’s death is such sad news. I remember avidly watching him as a kid, particularly on The Morning Line on Channel 4 on Saturdays.
He got people talking and interested in the sport and he did more than most to trumpet the sports he loved so much. It signals the end of an era and my sympathies are with his wife, family and friends. He will be missed
On to Saturday’s rides, and I’ve picked out three which could be worth following.
His form for trainer Philip Makin is working out well; he was only a short-head second to Strive For Glory on his penultimate run and that horse was in the winner’s enclosure again, in a Listed race at Tipperary, on Thursday.
He was then third over course and distance and holds an obvious chance. Hopefully I can win on what will be my first ride for Philip.
He was only beaten three lengths that day and the stiff, uphill finish over the minimum trip will really suit.
I’ve ridden him on both his starts and he was only beaten a neck over six furlongs at Redcar last time. This stiff five furlongs will be right up his street.
I was at Catterick on Monday and was delighted to make it two from two on the King Power Racing-owned Rux Ruxx.
She is going the right way and there will be more to come from Tim Easterby’s filly, who you’d fancy to complete a hat-trick the next time she runs.
I’d like to pay tribute to Catterick and the team there led by Fiona Needham. The new facilities are first-class, especially for the jockeys.
The weighing room has really improved with lots more space and there’s a new warm-up area and a space to relax between races. The parade ring and winner’s enclosure has also been enhanced and it is money very well spent.
The Flat Jockeys’ Championship has been a little dull the last couple of years, having been all wrapped up in good time. This year looks different, with Oisin Murphy, Silvestre De Sousa and Danny Tudhope all in the mix.
I’d fancy Danny to win it at 5-1. That looks the value. He’s been on a great roll, which shows no signs of stopping as he’s had 14 winners in the last fortnight. He can call on the big stables of David O'Meara and William Haggas and that’s a big plus.
Finally, I was lucky enough this week to be invited to Geoff and Sandra Turnbull’s stud, not far from Hartlepool. Elwick Stud is a beautiful base and home to Mondialiste, a dual Group 1-winning son of Galileo. He also beat 16 Group 1 winners in his career so was a top-class horse. He has that stamp of his father and I think he will do really well as a stallion. His fee is only £6,000, which could prove a bargain in time.
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