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IT felt like being the member of a boyband this week.
Don’t worry, I’m not about to turn up after racing at Newmarket on Friday nights to bang out a few songs.
It was just everyone seemed to be getting more excited than I was about making it into the top 20 winning-most jockeys in the UK.
How would I describe it? For me it’s like being Bros versus Pavarotti.
Nobody worries about the 20th person. Number one is the only one that counts and I’m a long way behind Sir Gordon Richards.
There are some of the biggest names in Flat racing at the top of the list. Pat Eddery, Willie Carson even Fred Archer.
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The man I admired the most isn’t on the list as he spent most of his time riding in Ireland.
I would say if you asked a hundred apprentices growing up in Ireland at the same time as I did who they looked up to they would all say Mick Kinane.
He was the best jockey of our generation. I think he’s 60 this year and he could still ride in races – he’s that much of a natural rider.
My target every year is to stay in one piece. As long as that happens I’m happy.
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I hope I’ve got a good few years left in me. I’m only 38 – still relatively young for a Flat jockey – so I’ll keep going as long as I’m still enjoying it.
Making the top 20 is another milestone but I’m concentrating more on my rides today than what happened yesterday.
Talking of which I’m looking forward to Agrotera (2.30) coming out again.
I won the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot on her the last time she ran.
This is a different test. She’s going from a straight mile handicap to a Listed race around a turn.
She won her maiden at Windsor and she had to run to a high level in the Sandringham so I can’t see it being a problem.
The filly that was fourth at Ascot, Desert Diamond, has come out and won a Listed race at York by six lengths so the form is strong.
She won well at Ascot but she did get excited in the preliminaries. Hopefully she’ll be a bit more relaxed.
The track at Haydock is easy for the horses. They go out of the paddock straight on to the track and there will be a smaller crowd. I dropped her in at Ascot but she seems pretty easy to ride.
She’s got a great chance – I’d be disappointed if she wasn’t there or thereabouts.
Brorocco (3.05) is one that needs luck in running. He’s a bit keen – he wears a hood – and he needs a good pace to aim at. If he gets that he’ll run a good race as he’s got a nice turn of foot.
He was only just beaten in a Group 2 at York last time which was a career best for him. His trainer Andrew Balding is having a great summer so long may that continue.
It won’t be easy for Brorocco taking on some progressive three-year-olds. They’re getting stronger and they’re still getting weight from the older horses.
I thought Zaaki was the one to beat.
Via Via (3.40) hasn’t run since May and he’s been a little bit disappointing this year. If he were come back to the form he showed when winning at Newmarket and Newcastle he’d have a little squeak of a chance.
Hopefully the blinkers will keep his mind on his job.
Fille De Reve (4.15) ran well last time in a Listed race at Carlisle. That was over 7f but she travels very well. I’m guessing that’s why Ed Walker’s dropping her in trip and it doesn’t look like it will be a problem. She should have a good each-way chance.