Friday 9th February, 2024

Mattie Ross appears to want further than two and a half miles after her run at Hutnigndon yesterday and we will now look for a  three mile race for her in a few weeks time.

We have Picanha declared at Newbury tomorrow in the 1.30pm – a three mile handicap hurdle.  He has been off the track a while but appears in good form at home although ideally better ground would suit.  Finn Lambert, who won on him on his last appearance takes the ride and we look forward to getting him out and about again before starting a chasing career.

Sun Tracker is also declared tomorrow in the 8pm at Wolverhampton – a mile and a half handicap.  He ran a pleasing debut for us over course and distance and appeared not to get the trip at Chelmsford last time out.  We will ride him with more restraint tomorrow and hopefully he can get back to the form of his previous run.

Swift Jet is declared in the bumper at Exeter on Sunday run at 5.05pm.  Once again the ground is probably softer than ideal, however he showed promise in his only race in a point-to-point and this chasing type has improved physically and mentally since we purchased him last May.  If coping with conditions, he will hopefully show potential for his patient owners.

Last night I attended the annual West Berkshire Racing Club Quiz at Newbury.  My team consisted of bloodstock agent Richard Venn, his son William and Sir Anthony McCoy.  As ever it was a very competitive and fun evening where we finished a close third behind the Racing Post and Raceform teams.  The questions are for anoraks only and thankfully we had William who could remember what happened last year as the other three of us are far better on the seventies, eighties and nineties.  Many thanks to all at West Berkshire Racing Club for putting on the evening and raising money for the Injured Jockeys Fund in the process.

For many years previously, the legendary commentator John Hanmer was in my team and we were delighted to contribute the ‘John Hanmer Memorial Trophy’ to the winners of the ‘non-anorak’ division.  Especially pleased that ITV commentator Richard Hoiles put in a team especially to win the trophy, as like to many – Hanmer was a hero to him.

Looking forward to next year already.