I had a thoroughly enjoyable time in Ireland with the family. The kids really enjoyed themselves – and it was nice to spend some time together, before the season really gets underway.
Since returning, things have been reasonably quiet – but I have six rides at Perth today, for Gordon Elliott.
Carrie Des Champs is an odds-on favourite – and should win for me today.
Creaden Grae is a nice horse, who has risen 12lbs for his last win here, but is bidding for a hat-trick at the track. There has been plenty of rain, and slower ground should suit him.
Excitement is starting to build towards the new season now – with the Jumps Season Opener, at Chepstow, being regarded as the curtain-raiser for the 2019/20 season. Now the winter horses have returned to training – yards have been holding open days, for the owners to spend a morning with their horses, who have returned from a summer of grass. I spent the morning at Olly Murphy’s recently – and have Philip Hobbs’ coming up soon. The plan will soon be to visit the trainers I ride for, such as Hobbs, Murphy and Henry Daly’s, and sit on a few – before beginning schooling in a few weeks.
Most are about six weeks away from a race – with the main focus being on getting the horses fit and onto the track. From there, we will then have a better idea on potential targets for the season.
My wife has been training hard for her charity walk, in Machu Picchu, and is now looking forward getting out there and raising lots of money for a great charity – alongside Kayley Woollacott’s sister, Stephanie Jones.
They hope to reach the famous Sun Gate on World Mental Health Day – 10th October.
You can help support the ladies – and the life-saving support Mind mental health charity provides – by visiting uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fionajohnson17.