Life for a jump jockey is getting busier now, and with the winter jump horses back in training, I've been riding out at several of the yards including Philip Hobbs, Olly Murphy and Tim Vaughan this week. With race meetings also this week at places as far afield as Bangor, Cartmel and Sedgefield as well as at Worcester and Stratford, I've really been putting the miles in.
I did manage a short break in Portugal with my family when it was nice to have a break from horses and riding. It was pretty relaxing - the only exercise I did was my usual daily 20 minutes of core strength exercises which I've been doing for quite a while to keep an old problem in my hip at bay. You've got to look after yourself as you get older!
I've been keeping up a steady flow of winners. A couple of weeks on from my first ever 5 timer on Gordon Elliott's horses at Perth, I had another good day for him at Sedgefield on Thursday when we had an odds on double with Kuiper Belt and Ravenshill. Hopefully he'll be sending plenty of horses over for the Perth two day meeting later in September, I've got a good record for him there.
This weekend I'm looking forward to riding Leapaway for Philip Hobbs again, this horse has won his last three starts and the penny really seems to have dropped. He was a big baby last year, but this year he is a different horse. I hope he's a sign that the Hobbs horses are back on track after not being in great form last year. With 100 odd horses in the yard, there ought to be some nice ones for me to ride this winter.
It was good to see the pictures of Native River at the Tizzard open day over Bank Holiday weekend. He looked really big and strong, and when I've spoken to the owners the Brooms and Colin Tizzard over the summer they've been really happy with him. The plan is still to start off at Haydock. I'm really looking forward to riding him again, this is definitely the time of year for dreaming about all the possibilities of the new jump season!