It’s been a successful couple of weeks for me, which is great in the run up to Christmas. I’ve had 8 winners in the past 14 days — including 2 Grade 2s.
Black Thunder took the RSA Novices’ Trial Chase at Lingfield on 14 December, and Irving (pictured) won at Ascot on Friday (20 December).
Both are trained by Paul Nicholls and are horses that could well be turning up at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Irving is a very nice horse, as I’ve mentioned in my blog before. He’s only 5 and he’s won all 3 of his races since he arrived in Britain this year from Germany. He’s a natural jumper and an exciting prospect.
My last winner before Christmas was on Sunday (22 December) — Night Of Passion, one of Jeremy Scott’s. Both Jeremy and Paul’s horses are in great form at the moment so I’ve been very lucky to get some nice rides. It’s good to have all the classy animals out and running over the Christmas period.
Hoping for a good Boxing Day
Christmas is nearly here, so we’re all enjoying a little break. Jockeys get 3 days off over Christmas so we have a bit of time to do our Christmas shopping — not that I’ve managed to buy many presents yet…
But for jockeys Christmas is really about Boxing Day. I have 7 rides on 26 December so I’ve got to be a bit restrained over my Christmas dinner!
As I’ve said before, I’m one of the taller jockeys (at 6ft) so I do need to keep tabs on what I eat and be sensible. My natural weight is 10st5-10st6, so I’m luckier than some of the other lads and never have to loose too much.
Fortunately I don’t have to do too light a weight on Boxing Day, so I’ll still be able to enjoy my Christmas dinner — I’ll just have to have smaller portions. There’ll be lots of tempting food around though so I’ll have to be good…
Some of my rides have pretty good chances so I’m excited about that. I’ll be riding at Wincanton, so I’m also looking forward to watching the King George (at Kempton) on TV.
Getting in the Christmas spirit
I’ve been really getting into the festivities this year. Lots of yards have been having their Christmas parties so I’ve been out socialising a lot! It’s great to see everyone enjoying themselves after a year’s hard work.
Quite a lot of the lads went up to Olympia at the weekend, which is always a fun show and gets you in the Christmas mood, but sadly I couldn’t make it this year. I did get to watch some of it on TV though. It’s nice to have the chance to see some different disciples — even if I didn’t manage to get up to London myself.
Ben Maher’s win in the grand prix was great. I used to showjump when I was younger [I was on the Home Pony International team in 2005], so I really enjoy watching the top riders and seeing what they do.
And Charlotte Dujardin was amazing too. She used to ride for the same pony producers I did — Ron and Debbie Thomas — so it’s fantastic to see her breaking world records.
Happy Christmas everyone,