I RAN faster than any of my horses last weekend – on a mad dash to the airport.
I was heading to America to ride my old pal Spanish Mission at Belmont Park in New York. I was 15 minutes from Heathrow when I got an email saying my flight was cancelled.
That meant a crazy rush to get on another plane that got me there in the nick of time. I would have been gutted to miss the ride.
If I thought that was an end to the drama, I was sorely mistaken.
He missed the kick, which wasn’t ideal. Then I managed to drop my rein at a crucial stage while he was making his challenge. I thought we were cooked. But he picked up brilliantly and we managed to win by a nose. Phew! I would have been kicking myself all the way back to England if we'd lost.
What a shout by trainer David Simcock to go for the race. It’s worth a million dollars and you don’t get many prizes like that over here.
I’m back at Woodbine in Canada tomorrow so let’s hope things go more smoothly. I’m not sure I could take another journey like that – and I’ll be keeping tight hold of the reins! It’s Chester for me today where I have some good chances.
I kick off on SEVEN EMIRATES (1.30) for Karl Burke. He showed a little promise on his debut at Thirsk last time and the yard’s horses usually come on for the run. There are couple in the race who have already won so he needs to find more but can improve.
I fancy the chances of DURSTON in the Listed race at 2.05. He won well here earlier this season and I think there’s more to come from him.
It was a solid effort behind Technician when I rode him at Newbury last time in a Group 3.
I don’t think he got the 1m6f distance around there and this drop back should really help him. Any rain would be a bonus because he handles a bit of give in the ground.
There are little question marks about his rivals and I think we’ll go close in a tight race.
PADDYS MOTORBIKE (2.40) won really well on his first start of the season and ran another good race when fifth in the Ascot Stakes. I think 2m4f was a bit far for him at Goodwood last time.
His win came over this trip so dropping back looks a good idea and he’s another who wouldn’t mind some ease in the ground.
The draw has been unkind to CAPTAIN JAMESON in the 3.50. You always need a bit of luck at Chester and we’ll need everything to fall our way from stall 11 over a sprint trip.
I’ll do all I can to get him in a good position and he’s a horse that likes to be dropped in anyway.
His form is decent and he’s been running consistently well in races like this. Obviously a lower draw would have helped but we can give a good account.