Tuesday 18th May, 2021

Off to Huntingdon shortly to saddle Present From Dubai in the 5.55pm.  Tom Queally agreed with our thoughts in that Flying Dragon probably wants a step up in trip having ridden him last night at Leicester.  We will now step him up to a mile and a half and hopefully the handicapper will reassess him in the meantime.  I am sure he will give his owners, The Dreamers, some fun this summer and has the size and scope to go hurdling later on in the year.

Off to Doncaster sales tomorrow to try and add to the string.  As ever, the market will be strong but look forward to coming back with a champion or two.

Very sad to hear of the passing of Joe Mercer.  He was quite simply the complete jockey.  A supreme horseman with perfect rhythm and the balance of a ballet dancer.  I had the pleasure of meeting him on many occasions and like many, found him engaging, charming, amusing and wise.  He was associated with some of the greats, including Brigadier Gerard, Dick Hern and H Cecil.

I have a photograph of him in my office (below) which I look at every day.  It is of him riding his first of three victories on High Line in the Jockey Club Cup in Newmarket in 1969.  It was given to me by my old boss H Candy and reminds me of many things, including just how a human being should sit on a racehorse.

His legacy will live on as his talents are exactly those that should be passed on to all generations of riders and I look forward to racing finding an appropriate way of recognising his outstanding career.  May he rest in peace.