Newmarket, Saturday:

The ground up at Newmarket is beautiful and we’re all set for a brilliant day of racing.

It looks a top-class card with the big two-year-old Group Ones as well as the ultra-competitive betting race, the Cambridgeshire Handicap.

The Middle Park Stakes is always a cracker, with the best young sprinters around blazing out of the dip, and I was lucky enough to win it a couple of times with Amadeus Wolf and Astaire.

It looks like a cracker this year and Blackbeard is the obvious favourite, but there’s no shortage of opposition either.

I’ve got just the one ride in the shape of Austrian Theory in the Cambridgeshire, and I’m pleased to see we’ve bagged what looks like a decent draw in stall 21.

All of the last six winners have been drawn in the twenties and two of the last four have come from 21, so hopefully that’s the bit of luck we need in what looks very tough handicap.

He’s had a bit of a break since Glorious Goodwood which will hopefully have freshened him up a bit, and though he’s a big price he’s got pieces of form that would give him a squeak.

I’ll be going in there with an open mind, and being a Johnston horse we’ll keep it straightforward - I’ll just let him get on with it.

There’s sure to be plenty of scrimmaging for position in a big field like this, but the Rowley Mile is a very open track.

I’d imagine we’ll split into two groups and then possibly merge later on in the race, which is when it can get a bit messy, but hopefully we get a good run.

Racing League win, but Levey’s loss

Earlier last week the Racing League came to a close and I was delighted to pick up a bit of extra prize money for being on the winning team.

Saffie [Osborne] had a big part to play in that, so well done to her – she works very hard, and like a lot of these young female riders just needs a bit of a break to get going.

As a concept I think it’s good and it needs to be backed going forward.

The team element makes it very competitive, and it’s offering good prize money and full fields which is something our sport has been suffering from for a long time.

On the flipside, Sean Levey missed out on the chance of claiming the Top Jockey prize, and whatever has happened there with the discrepancy of his saliva test is just not good enough.

What happened to Sean could happen to any one of us. Imagine if it’s Ryan Moore ahead of his Group One rides this Saturday, or ahead of the Arc, it can completely ruin things for us.

On the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, it’s looking wide-open with no Baaeed in there, and at this point in time I think Alpinista looks a very solid candidate.

She’s a multiple Grade One winner across Europe and is handled by a master in Sir Mark [Prescott].

FIRST PUBLISHED: 22nd September 2022

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