By Paul Mulrennan
I wouldn’t swap Euchen Glen for any other horse in the Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket on Saturday.
I could have had a number of rides at York, but I wasn’t going to miss out on riding this talented four-year-old.
He should have won a nice extended two-mile handicap at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York last time, but there was no pace and we got too far back. He flew at the finish to take third and a stronger pace, like we’re sure to get at Newmarket, is right up his alley.
Jim Goldie is very happy with him and he’s had a nice break since York and goes into the race fresh and well. We know he’ll get the trip, the ground will be absolutely fine and I can’t find a box which isn’t ticked. He will run a big race at a very nice price.
I’m chuffed to pick up a ride for Richard Fahey too, in the shape of Marie Of Lyon in the Darley EBF Stallions Boadicea Stakes.
She was favourite to complete a hat-trick of handicap wins at Newmarket last time but met trouble in running and never stood a chance. Prior to that, she won two handicaps very easily and clearly her confidence was building.
She warrants this step up in class, takes her racing well and looks as tough as old boots. I’d be confident you’d get a great run for your money.
There’s been no Mecca’s Angel for me this year, and while I’m not suggesting we have a replacement in Mabs Cross, she is clearly going the right way and looks a Group performer for next season.
The three-year-old won the five-furlong Listed race at Musselburgh last week, which had been re-routed from Ayr’s Western Meeting, and she was a very cosy winner.
It was a good-quality field that day, run at a fierce pace from the outset and I am sure the race will represent very strong form.
Mabs Cross had started her season in April but enjoyed a nice break to complete a four-timer in what was her toughest assignment so far. She keeps improving and you never know how far these sprinting fillies will go. She is an exciting prospect for next year.
Finally, it was sad to see Jimmy Fortune retire. He is a great fella and we spent three winters together riding in India. He showed me the ropes when I arrived and we had a good time out there. We also spent time together in South Africa for a jockeys’ challenge.
I could him ask him anything and he’d always give sound advice.
As a jockey I’d say he’s the strongest I’ve ridden against – a statement that even Kieren Fallon has agreed with. He’s a Classic-winning jockey and won multiple Group One races, and just think what he could have done without being plagued by his back problems.
He’s also endured a truly tragic period in his life, in losing his wife Jan. It’s something no-one should have to go through at such a young age, and he’s done a great job raising his boys.
We’ll miss you Jimmy.