Weblog: A young jockey making a name for himself
Shakalakaboomboom (near) picked up a nice weight for the Grand NationalPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Cheltenham and Aintree make for exciting times
My idea of the Grand National winner is...
The Grand National weights came out on Tuesday and it's all anyone is talking about. I think Alan King's horse West End Rocker has a nice weight and will take a lot of beating. He was very impressive in the Becher.
Shakalakaboomboom has the same weight (10st 12lbs) and I think he'd also have a very good chance.
I've never ridden over the National fences. I was meant to have a ride in the Fox Hunters' for Brendan Powell but there was an issue with my licence.
They didn't actually make a decision until the day of the race and I was almost at Aintree by the time they did, which was pretty gutting. The National is such a spectacle and the fences have such an aura that every young jockey dreams of riding over them and I'm no different. It'd be great to pick up a ride but I may have to wait a year.
Weather costing me a few rides
It's all been getting a bit depressing really with the weather. I've meant to have been riding at a few meetings that have been abandoned and it's so frustrating. We're all getting used to the abandonments now but hopefully things can start getting back to normal.
A horse with serious potential
I don't have any rides on Wednesday - I should be at Leicester on Thursday - but I'll be watching Simonsig at Kelso. He's in grand form, I schooled him the other day and while it's a big step up, I think he'll be very hard to beat. We were going torun Binocular but the boss has decided to go straight to Cheltenham with him, so it's a good opportunity for Simonsig.
He's stepping back to 2m2f but I don't think trip is an issue with him. He's a class horse and the trip is not an issue. We'll know a lot more afterwards, but I'd like to think he'll be good enough to win.
Musical chairs in the morning
This time of year is great, with Cheltenham fast approaching it's off one good horse and onto another every morning. After riding Simonsig the other morning I was then on All The Aces, who could go for the Supreme Novices' or the Neptune. It's just one good horse after another, the ammunition the boss has is just frightening.
Sorting out where everything will run and who will ride what must be a real headache, especially with everyone after a ride or two. I keep getting off horses and telling Mr Henderson they'd be perfect for the conditional jockeys' race so that Barry can't steal all the good ones.
Bring on the festival
There's a real atmosphere to the yard as the festival draws nearer and comethis time next week in fact the Cheltenham picture will be a lot clearer. We have a lot of good horses out in the next few days as the boss is desperate to get a run into them before the festival. With Burton Port, Long Run,Sprinter Sacre and Riverside Theatre all running it's a big few days.
Riverside Theatre is a horse I'm particularly excited about seeing. They've really taken their time with him and it seems to have paid off as he looks great. It'll be interesting to see how the horses get on when racing gets going again because a lot of yards have really struggled. We're lucky and our gallops have been fine so I'd expect ours to go well.
It's not just the horses as well. You can run or go to the gym as much as you like, but nothing beats race-riding. It's a unique type of fitness and it'll be great to get back racing regularly.
A good night for a great cause
I was at a charity party on Sunday night raising money for the Injured Jockeys Fund. It was a great night with a lot of familiar faces, and I'm sure there were a few sore heads the next day as several took advantage of Plumpton being off the next day.