14 January 2018
It was a fantastic day for me at Wetherby on Saturday, riding four winners. I can’t remember the last time that happened, but I do know they don’t come around too often.
I was primarily there for one Philip Hobbs horse, Westend Story. He’d been a close fifth in the 2016 Champion Bumper, and we’d really hoped that he would rank quite highly after that. However, last year he wasn’t right and things just didn’t pan out for him. He was given a good break over the summer and ran well at Carlisle in November, so we thought he had a very good chance at Wetherby. It was great that it came off. That should have given the horse some confidence. He hasn’t finished winning. Two and a half miles on soft ground is fine at the moment, but he will be a staying chaser in time.
It was pleasing for Philip, especially after a quiet December. He’s back in form now and the horses’ wellbeing bodes well for the next few months.
Thankfully my agent Dave Roberts managed to get me a very good book of rides and we've had three other winners, which is great. On a busy day like Saturday trainers have runners at more than one meeting and Dave liaises with them and the jockeys to sort out who rides where.
For instance, I rode Hogan’s Height for Jamie Snowden. Gavin Sheehan would normally ride for him but he was needed for another one of Jamie’s at Warwick. Similarly, Aidan Coleman was riding for Jonjo O’Neill at Kempton, so I came in for the ride on Noble Robin.
None of the four winners were very big prices. It was just one of those days where everything went right. It doesn’t always work out so well!
I see that James Bowen won another big race on Saturday, the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton. He is lucky to have a marvellous family with mum Karen and dad Peter as well as his brother Sean to guide him. His mum and dad gave me opportunities when I started riding in points and under rules and they are wonderful people who helped me a great deal when I was James's age. We are going to hear an awful lot more of him and it would take a brave man to say he won't be at the top in years to come.
I will be at Plumpton on Monday, and then the plan is Hereford, Newbury and on Friday, Chepstow, where I see Henry Daly has Back To The Thatch entered. I hope he runs, for he should have a decent chance. He loves soft ground and a stayers’ track like Chepstow will suit him.