1.50 Doncaster – Duke of Firenze
He’s an outsider and he hasn’t shown much this season. He’s more than capable though and his trainer David Griffiths does an amazing job with these older sprinters. He was actually 4th in the Prix De L’Abbaye to Battaash last year and he only had Profitable and Marsha ahead of him in the places, so on that form he could run very well. That said he does need to bounce back to form because his last three starts haven’t been great. He could have an each way chance.
I’ve ridden him once four years ago, when he was owned by Cheveley Park. He’s been and done the rounds, he was at Sir Michael Stoute’s at one stage, and these older sprinters they pop in and win races from time to time.
2.25 Doncaster – Mustashry
He’s been supplemented for this race. He ran a cracking race up at York last time out. I felt that he just needed the run that day as it had been quite a break since his run at Sandown the time before. He’s dropping back in trip, and I don’t think that will be a problem for him. He is a top of the ground horse, and when I rode at Doncaster the other day it was really nice ground. He wouldn’t want any rain so if the rain came and the ground changed then it would inconvenience him. Providing it’s good ground then I think he has got a great chance. I’m really looking forward to riding him.
We’ve decided to try him at this shorter trip as he travels so strongly in his races, and at York last time out he was one of the last horses off the bridle. The race also fits in nicely time-wise for him given where we might want to take him next.
3.35 Doncaster (St Leger) – Zabriskie
It’s great to pick up a ride for Aidan O’Brien in a Classic. Zabriskie is a massive outsider and on his form I can’t really see him winning, but it’s a great race and I’m really looking forward to riding in it. I’ve been second in two St Legers and I’d love to go one better but I would be surprised if it was this year.
It’s my first ride for Aidan. He’s an absolute genius, a man I hugely admire as a trainer, and I’m really looking forward to riding for him. I’m also looking forward to riding for the owner, who I had such great success with last year on Ulysses.
5.55 Doncaster – Highbrow
This is a decent horse. He’s coming back into handicap company, having been highly tried in Group company. He’s a very useful sort and whilst it’s a competitive little race, I like how he’s drawn and how the race is likely to unfold. I would be very surprised if he’s not on the scene at the finish. I think he’ll run a big race.
5.20 Longchamp – Muthmir
I fly out to Paris on Sunday to ride Muthmir at Longchamp. He’s won in France before, winning at Chantilly, but he ran a bit disappointingly at the new Longchamp at the start of this year. He’s a horse who needs holding up and plenty of cover, and is then a hostage to fortune because that’s how he has to be ridden. If he sees too much daylight he doesn’t go. He’s more than capable, he’s run some big races this year, and hopefully we can get his head in front.
PLANS FOR BATTAASH
Battaash is going to go straight to Longchamp for the Prix De L’Abbaye. I think we’ve all agreed that he just needs plenty of time between his races. Goodwood and York just came too close together. He’s a horse who gives so much when he wins, as he did when he won by 5 lengths at Goodwood, it probably just takes more out of himself. Maybe he doesn’t like York either. So we’ll take him back to France. He hasn’t run at the new Longchamp yet so hopefully he’ll be fine there.