Firstly, I would like to say congratulations to James King on winning the men’s title, an incredible effort to be neck and neck with Will for so long of the season and then go more than ten clear and win it before the last day.
On Wednesday 1st June, I had my last ride of the season on Tidal Flow at Garthorpe’s evening meeting where he ran his classic race of being interested for half of it, but then when the pace quickens and things start to get tough he packs it in. It’s strange to think the season is over but the summer will fly by and it won’t be long until we’re back out pointing for the new season.
Our horses have all come home for their summer holidays bar Tidal Flow and Majestic Touch who I believe are being sold to do something different from racing and are still at Alan’s for the time being. Jet Marshall is having his summer out at Philip Hobbs’s and Drop Flight, who hasn’t run for us yet, is down at Sam Loxton’s to get settled in early for next season. It’s nice to see them all enjoying a break at home including our three new purchases from Doncaster May sales. The pecking order is sorted out and Sir Mangan is always going to be the boss!
This season has been a mix of being brilliant and frustrating at times, but on the whole, I’m pretty happy with it as I went out for a goal of five winners pointing and came away with six. I had a goal of riding one winner under rules but it wasn’t to be this year. That said I have had some nice rides on the racetrack this year and gained lots of experience riding against the professionals, with a memorable one being at Newbury on Jet Marshall in a novice hurdle, who gave me an incredible feeling. I am really looking forward to riding him next year. The highs of the season would be winning three races on our legend of a horse Sir Mangan; every run this year he gave his all, even if the conditions didn’t suit he would run his heart out. Diplomate Sivola winning the mixed open at Guilsborough is also a highlight as he was awesome that day and I think that was the only time we got it right with him. Also, that run of Jet Marshall as I mentioned earlier at Newbury gave me lots of confidence. When it comes to the lows there have been plenty for both myself and my dad; firstly with how Mighty Stowaway got travel sickness coming over from Ireland and not being able to run at Aintree in the Foxhunters and following up not feeling 100% in his run at the hunter chase evening at Cheltenham. Chameron has been incredibly frustrating with having so much ability but not being able to use it with his jumping, although he scored twice over the smaller fences at Buckfastleigh. Majestic Touch has also been frustrating and a bit disappointing as he showed the potential to be a useful racehorse this year working at home but not on the track. For me the season got away slowly, having to wait until early January for the first winner and hitting the post a few times until March, but that's racing!
This summer I am working for a few event companies at events such as Glastonbury, riding out a bit and going away a few times with my family and friends.
Next season from September I’m going to Tom Lacey’s full time to be his amateur which I’m very much looking forward to and hopefully will learn lots from Tom himself. Hopefully, with this I’ll get a few opportunities, but I don’t expect lots as that’s unrealistic and I would like to try to get some outside rides whether it's pointing or under rules. I will have all of Dad’s string of horses to ride, which I’m always grateful for. He will have the likes of Sir Mangan, Diplomate and Hueganeau to go pointing and then Mighty Stowaway and Drop flight will go pointing/hunter chasing and try to aim them both at the big two Foxhunters. Drop Flight will be in training with Sam Loxton. Jet Marshall and the new horse Ballycross will be under rules with Philp Hobbs. Then the other two new horses, Oak Creek and Flashy Boy, will go under rules but we're yet to decide who will be training them. Santos Blue, again like the other two is undecided where he would be next year.
All in all it's been a good year and roll on next season!