This week’s blog has to start with the highlight of my month - Hathal winning the Sunracing.co.uk Conditions Stakes at Wolverhampton on the 4th of February. Winners are winners of course, but it’s exciting to have a horse with his talent carry you through the All Weather Season. He is now in preparation for the Betway Winter Derby Stakes at Lingfield on the 23rd February, unfortunately I’m going to have an extremely bitter pill to swallow, as I have picked up a 6 day ban that overlaps the race. A chance to ride in my first Group 3, never mind one with a solid chance - I cannot express how infuriating it is, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles and I only have myself to blame. One thing I can assure, is that I will be shouting him home for The Old Malthouse team as usual.
I suppose that I have to touch base on the ever tiring Equine Influenza subject. I won’t drawl on for too long as it’s all we’ve seen on every social media platform over the past few days. Work went on as usual, certainly for me and I’m sure a lot of other jockeys who had to ride out and of course all of the stable staff have had to work extra hard as many stables who have been on ‘lockdown’ have had to exercise their horses in the afternoons.
On Monday evening Twitter was a feed of comedy gold for the racing community, led by the boss himself and Brendan Powell, their witty tweets made the waiting game a little easier whilst we sat rather impatiently while The BHA announced their decision whether to resume racing on Wednesday or not. Thankfully they chose to resume and its all systems go again today.
It was a great pleasure to be invited onto the ‘Get In’ tv show and spend an evening with Luke Harvey and Jason Weaver, I didn’t get too much stick afterwards, apart from being compared to Harry Hill for my outfit choice, but it was inevitable that the lads would find something to take the Mickey about! I can assure you there are a few characters in the weighing room who think they are Gok Wan!
In relation to my first blog - I managed to ride 9 winners in January, 1 winner off my monthly target. Although frustrating, I was able to kick on in February with a quick two winners in the first week. February is going to be tough though as it was a short month before we missed 5 days thanks to EI and I will be missing 6 days next week due to my ban. A major blow but makes me all the more motivated to make them up when I can!