Well it’s been a pretty wet week, which hasn’t been ideal for racing.
Although some of Somerset has been terrible, it hasn’t been too bad where I live — Wincanton was on the other day and I’m not too far from there. But other meetings have suffered.
I was due to ride Melodic Rendezvous at Sandown today (Saturday 1 February). Although the course has done a great job going ahead with racing, it had to cancel its hurdles races due to the wet weather, so it’s very disappointing that Melodic Rendezvous couldn’t run. He’ll now probably have one more run before Cheltenham but it’s a shame as the Sandown race would have been ideal for him.
Anyway, I’m at Ffos Las today instead and have some nice rides.
It’s been frustrating with all the rain, but the jumpers bumpers card [Flat races for National Hunt horses] at Kempton yesterday was a great initiative.
It was on the all weather track to give horses who need the run a chance to, and was well supported with 8 races.
It was a bit like being back at school on non-uniform day! Everyone in the weighing room was quite excited about doing something different. Let’s hope there are more of them.
Riding on the all weather is different, and it’s a good challenge. I tried to ride like a Flat jockey for a bit, but it’s exhausting! 9 out of 10 times the best horse wins in those races, but obviously it’s perfect for National Hunt horses who are good on the flat but aren’t the best of jumpers….
A win for The Rainbow Hunter
The highlight of the week though was The Rainbow Hunter (pictured) winning at Doncaster last Saturday. He was up against some really good horses and ran very well.
He’s trained by Kim Bailey and he’s now aimed at the Grand National. He came down at the Canal Turn in last year’s race but he was going well until then. Plus he’s had a little wind operation since then and that’s definitely helped him.
It’s always nice to have Saturday winners too. My friend Oli Bell is a part-owner of The Rainbow Hunter and he gave me a real confidence boost before the race. He told me not to ride like the horse was a 25-1 shot but to be in the mindset that he was going to win, like Oli thought he could. And so I rode very positively, and we were all thrilled with the result!
Since that I’ve been having quite a quiet week, I’ve been schooling at Kim Bailey’s and also at Paul Nicholls’. I schooled Tidal Bay during the week, he’s a dude.
People seem to love him and he’s certainly taught me a few things in the times I’ve ridden him at home! He’s a very clever horse and he’s an old pro.
Have a good weekend everyone,