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Mad eager to get back to Britain!

27 Mar 2015

Busy Dubai World Cup night ahead and then I can't wait to get back into the swing of things in Britain!

The Grey Gatsby – An absolute legend and I can’t see him being beaten in the Dubai Turf on World Cup night.

It’s the eve of Dubai World Cup night and I’m really looking forward to the event that everything has led up to for the past couple of months!

If you’d asked me a month ago whether I would have had one ride on World Cup night I would probably have said no, so to have five (including one in the Arab race) is a dream and things have really taken off for me in the last few weeks.

I would probably say that Dormello is my best chance on the night – even though he’s down as one of the outsiders in the race. If Brown Panther shows up at his best then he will take a bit of beating, but it doesn’t look the strongest of Group 2’s and he unexposed at the trip (two miles) and coming into the race on the back of two wins.

Forjatt has probably been undone by the draw in the Godolphin Mile, as it takes quite a lot of organising and you can easily get behind on the sharp turn, while United Color might just struggle in the Golden Shaheen.

I’m really looking forward to getting on Farraaj in the Dubai Turf and he’s in great form. He oozes class but I suppose the worry is whether he could have done with another few pieces of work for this. He’s not getting any younger and did have a hard season last year, but should give a strong account of himself.

The Grey Gatsby is going to prove a tough nut to crack, though, and if I’m totally honest I can’t see him being beaten. He’s an absolute legend and he has the rating, the class and the ability to be well ahead of the field. He’s a credit to Kevin Ryan, who is a very shrewd trainer.

Harp Star is my idea of the Sheema Classic winner, and if California Chrome repeats his Breeders’ Cup Classic performance he’ll win the feature event. He’s won a Grade 1 on turf, on dirt and on sloppy and I’m hoping for him to be an impressive winner. Fellow American runner Lea looks a million dollars and is a really good mover for a dirt horse. Bill Mott wouldn’t have sent him over for no reason.

And don’t forget the Japanese star, Epiphaneia. He’s gone a bit under the radar, but has rock solid form and has one of the best jockeys in the world doing the steering in the shape of Christophe Soumillon. He’s probably the most exciting horse running on the night – other than The Grey Gatsby – but I was slightly surprised to hear that he was running in this race. It’s an amazing card and a very strong renewal of the World Cup despite there being only nine runners.

After all that excitement I head back on the 2.30 flight on Sunday morning and am mad eager to get back into the swing of things in Britain! I was back for three days during Cheltenham Festival week and rode out for both Andrew (Balding) and Ralph Beckett.

Believe me Elm Park as a two-year-old is a shadow of himself now. He has exceeded all expectations and really fills the eye and looks the real deal! I haven’t been told either way but reckon that he probably won’t have a trial run and will go straight to the Guineas.

Horses can go over the top so quickly and you can waste a run on them in one of the trials. Obviously this is up to Sheikh Fahad to decide, though.

Speaking of the Sheikh, it is very worrying that he has decided to start taking up riding and contest a charity race. The better and more knowledgeable he gets the quicker he will be to spot any mistakes either myself or Andrea make! We won’t be able to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes! Fair play to him, though. He’s focussed and committed on a very strict regime and is missing the Dubai World Cup this weekend. Hopefully he’ll find a good horse to ride and win comfortably! Who knows, he might end up taking out an amateur’s licence…


Andrew Balding three-year-old who I won on at Doncaster last September and makes his eagerly anticipated reapparence in the mile and a quarter handicap at Doncaster on Sunday.