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Lightning Spear-heads a huge weekend!

10 Sep 2015

I’ve just finished a recent suspension and flew back to England Monday night raring to go for a huge weekend of racing ahead!

I’ve just finished a recent suspension and flew back to England Monday night raring to go for a huge weekend of racing ahead!

It was my 20th birthday on Sunday and although there was no big celebration, I enjoyed relaxing back at home and going out for dinner with my two sisters. I was back freshened up and ready to gallop Lightning Spear on Tuesday morning. I ride him in the Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday and he’s in great form! If he runs up to his French form (close fourth in the Prix Jacques le Marois) he’ll take a bit of beating.

I’ve only ridden at Leopardstown once before but it’s not a complicated track and I’ll give it a good walk beforehand. I have a ride before Lightning Spear on Moral High Ground in the Champions Juveniles Stakes for Michael O’Callaghan. We’re both from the same county and it would be great to ride a winner for him – though the step up to a mile would be a slight question.

Hopefully the rain stays away for the big race, the Irish Champion Stakes, which looks like being a thriller and probably the final opportunity to see Golden Horn versus Gleneagles. If I had a choice I would probably take Gleneagles as he hasn’t had a hard season and potentially has more scope for improvement at this stage than Golden Horn.

There’s plenty to look forward to at Doncaster this weekend as well and Clondaw Warrior needs to step up to give Willie Mullins another Champions Series success. I spoke to Hughie Morrison last night and he’s quite sweet on Fun Mac. Apparently he has come out of his last race at Goodwood well. Brian Ellison’s Seamour is interesting as well, as he needs to improve a bit more but that certainly isn’t out of the question.

Simple Verse worked really well this morning and I expect her to run a big race in the Ladbrokes St Leger for Ralph Beckett. Like her sire Duke of Marmalade, she seems to be improving with age and the weight allowance (only 3 lbs) could prove crucial. I know that Aidan O’Brien is very sweet on Bondi Beach but Simple Verse could have the right profile.

Also in action at Doncaster is Limato in the Group 2 Park Stakes and I think he’ll win. We found out exactly how good the three-year-old sprinters are last weekend, he’ll get a good lead and I know that they’ve very happy with him at home. He can bit of a character when you ride him – but in a good way!

One of the most impressive winners last week was La Rioja at Salisbury and she’s very exciting. Ever since I worked her back in April I thought that she was special and she’s proving a good flag-bearer for her sire, Hellvelyn. She was quite small on her shoulders but is growing and strengthening up all the time and I really hope that she is supplemented for the Cheveley Park.

Another two-year-old who I have been impressed with is Clive Cox’s Soapy Aitken, who I rode work on the other day. He has proven a little bit disappointing on the track but Clive is convinced he will improve for some cut and he holds entries later this year in the Mill Reef and the Redcar Two-Year-Old Trophy. If he transfers his ability to the track he’ll be a Group 1 sprinter!


I rode Roger Varian’s filly on her debut and she was green early with the penny only dropping late as she chased home a well-regarded Ed Dunlop horse. She has size and scope and will have no problems winning a maiden (entered in two next week) en route to better things hopefully.