15 July 2019
This time of year can be pretty quiet… There isn’t much racing – but I’m still trying to get the rides and turn those into as many winners as possible.
It is great that Gordon Elliott has been bringing his horses over to Perth again – I’ve had a nice couple of meetings there recently, with Gordon.
I’ve known him since he was an amateur with Martin Pipe, back in his riding days. I rode his first ever winner as a trainer – although it was more luck than anything else – as I was just available at the time, when others weren’t.
Jason Maguire and A.P McCoy rode most of his when they were available, but since they’ve both retired, I’ve had a lot more opportunity to ride for him again.
Obviously, I don’t ride many over in Ireland, as my main goal is to continue to be champion jockey in the UK.
Philip Hobbs had 40 horses return from their summer break this week and hopefully there will be plenty of nice ones among them.
Olly Murphy is another trainer who is getting bigger by the month – let alone the year – and I’m really looking forward to riding the Whateleys’ Thomas Darby again, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle runner-up.
The most exciting horse of all is – I’d have to say – Warren Greatrex’s La Bague Au Roi. She was an amazing mare last year, winning The Feltham on King George Day, and then going on to win a Grade 1 at the Leopardstown Festival.
For an English horse to go out there and do that is very difficult – and a massive achievement for both Warren and the mare.
Her main target for the coming season is likely The King George – so hopefully she returns to training as good a horse as she was last season.
I’ve got a 9-day break coming up in August – which is my family holiday time. My sister-in-law and Mark Grant have just had a baby – so we are all heading over to Ireland together.
The children have just finished school for the summer; so I’ll be going racing as much as I can and when I am not, I’ll be tacking up ponies and spending as much time with them as possible.
My wife is currently in training for a charity walk, in Machu Picchu. She will be completing the walk – alongside Kayley Woollacott’s sister, Steph Jones – for mental health charity, MIND.
We all know somebody who has – or is – suffering with their mental health. This is such a fantastic cause.
I rode for Kayley’s husband, Richard - and my wife and myself knew him very well. I’ve known a few people now who have really suffered; sadly, he suffered to the extreme.
Sometimes people don’t know where to turn for help until it is too late.
If you would like to support this fantastic cause – please donate via the link: