With a winner and some other near-misses already under his belt, Paul Mulrennan has hit the ground running with the resumption of racing and the jockey talked to Racingtv.com ahead of his trip to Newmarket on Saturday, where he will bid to land the Group 3 Betfair Palace House Stakes for the third year running.
It's been fantastic to be back in action and I can't fault anything about the procedures that have been put into place. Everyone understands it's something to be taken seriously. But for the sake of everybody in the industry, we had to get going with racing again.
The important thing for me was to keep up my fitness while there was no racing, and I have been carrying on with my boxing training, even if I obviously can't get to the gym any more. I'm also doing extra fitness sessions at Jack Berry House.
I've been riding out for a number of yards in the last couple of weeks and that has hopefully helped me pick up plenty of rides in the first few days - one of those is Philip Makin and it was great to ride a winner for him at Newcastle when Mukar won on his debut. I'd had a sit on him and we thought he was a nice young horse, but it was great for Phil and Sammy Jo and hopefully it means they have a nice group of two-year-olds.
I'm looking forward to getting to Newmarket on Saturday to ride three nice horses - it's always good to be riding one of the real big days, even if circumstances are different this year.
Having ridden Mabs Cross to win the Betfair Palace House Stakes for the past two years, I'm bidding to take the race for the third consecutive year for Michael Dods as we team up with Queens Gift. There can't be many Group races won by the same trainer and jockey three years running, so it would be something special if we could do it.
I hope she's got a good chance too. She wouldn't want the ground too quick, but there's been a drop of rain at Newmarket, which will help. Although she's five, she really doesn't have that many miles on the clock and she just kept improving throughout last year.I won twice on her and was on when she finished a great second in the Bullet at Beverley.
The cheekpieces seemed to have helped her and I think there's every reason to think she can go well. I like the look of her draw too - we should get a nice lead and some cover.
Incidentally, it was good to see Michael's yard get a winner at Newcastle on Thursday with Brunch. He's a very nice young horse and well worth following.
I also ride two more horses on whom I was successful in 2019, so let's hope for more of the same. I'm not sure about stall one for Makanah in the Win Bigger On The Betfair Exchange Handicap, but he likes to be dropped out, so I don't think it will be a big issue. He wasn't beaten far in the Portland off a 1lb higher mark last season and I think he's good enough to win a nice race when things go right for him. I like him.
Indianapolis is my final ride for James Given in the Newmarket Trade On The Betfair Exchange Handicap. He is a great big son of Galileo, who has just needed time to come himself, but he finished the season well, having run in some very hot races.
He is a real galloper and cheekpieces have definitely helped him to concentrate. If we can get into a nice rhythm, I'd be hopeful of a good run.
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