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Ready for Benbatl in Meydan

31 Jan 2018

I’m trying to keep things mixed up while we wait for the Turf season to start in earnest.  I’ve been riding plenty in the All Weather Championships for a variety of trainers and having some good success on the artificial surfaces. It’s been a great way to keep myself fit during those winter months, and I’m certainly not shy when it comes to riding in the cold and wet.  It’s certainly not a target this year to be mounting a challenge for it however- that crown I believe will rest on Luke Morris‘ head come the end of the season.

My main concern is keeping race fit with the turf season fast approaching, and also for riding in the Dubai Carnival where I’ve been picking up some great rides recently. I’ll be there this Thursday where I have two promising Godolphin rides on the card.

I will once again ride BENBATL over at Meydan, having won on him there 3 weeks ago.

I’ve been managing my schedule very carefully with all the travelling that is involved. I can be at Lingfield on the Wednesday and the next day off to Dubai for the Carnival, before getting back in time for a Southwell meeting the next day. I’ve got my timings down to a tee in terms of flights- and I tend to be a very good sleeper when I’m flying which helps!

I get the 10pm flight out of Heathrow on a Wednesday night, land in Dubai at 8.45am (around 4.45pm UK time), go to bed during the day before getting up, lose any weight I need and then riding at Meydan. I’m then back on a plane around 2am which lands in London at 6.45am. This routine ensures I keep the same sleeping pattern throughout so I’m fresh and ready to ride whichever country I’m in.

It’s the same flight out there tonight as I ride in Meydan tomorrow- I have two great rides booked for Saeed Bin Suroor in Benbatl and Dubai One.

Benbatl, who’s been very good to me, is in great form having won here three weeks ago. I wasn’t too hard on him there and I’m sure he’ll be ripe for tomorrow’s challenge. My biggest obstacle here is almost certainly the draw which looks a bit awkward. I’ll speak to Saeed beforehand to see what he’d like me to do in terms of tactics. He’s a very exciting horse and one that doesn’t come round too often- he’s a proper Group 2 performer and I’m very pleased to be up on him once again. He rightly goes off favourite for this and hopefully we can get the job done.

Dubai One won well the other day at Lingfield. I get on with her very well and she likes to drop in a little bit behind the leaders in her races. She doesn’t do a whole lot once she hits the front, but some of the good ones are like that. Hopefully she’s still progressing and can give me a good spin. She’s in a pretty hot race with plenty there with good chances, none more so than the top weight Steady Pace who looks the one to beat.

Horse to follow: Princess De Lune Kempton Thursday 6.30

Not the most straightforward in Archie Watson’s yard, but she won a maiden and is a filly I think can make her mark and could be a black type filly.