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I’M hoping for a right Royal result at Ascot today.
It will be good to put the Queen’s colours on again for Take To Heart (12.20) in the opening novices’ hurdle.
He won a couple of races back in the summer and he’s a nice horse. The boss, Nicky Henderson, has given him a nice break so he will be fresh and well.
He acts on most ground but he particularly likes it when it’s quick so I’ll be hoping for another dry night.
He’s a horse who did look a bit weak so I think a bit of time out at grass should’ve helped him strengthen up.
It’s always nice to ride a winner for The Queen – I’m told she never misses a race even if she’s not at the course.
I rode for her as an amateur and my first winner over jumps for the boss was Barber’s Shop in her colours.
I’m really looking forward to Lough Derg Farmer (12.55).
He will definitely improve for fences – he’s a very natural jumper. He won a point-to-point in Ireland before joining the boss last season.
Heartbreak City is looking to go one better in the Dubai Gold Cup after his agonising second in the Melbourne Cup
His two hurdles wins were good but he’ll do even better over fences – without a doubt. I’ve schooled him a couple of times and he’s just a natural.
He progressed so much last season – if he can continue on that upward curve he’ll be really nice.
The trip might be slightly on the sharp side but he’ll love the big fences and he’ll love the galloping track.
Top Notch (2.05) had a nice run over hurdles at Aintree. He’ll definitely come on for that and at the weights he’s in with a shout. I schooled him on Thursday and he seems in great nick.
This will be the first time I’ve ridden him in a race. Daryl Jacob usually rides him as he’s owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede but he’s gone up to Haydock to ride Bristol De Mai in the Betfair Chase today.
I’ve spoken to Daryl and he absolutely loves the horse. He won four in a row last season including the Scily Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown.
I thought he put up a really good performance against Yorkhill in the JLT at Cheltenham. He really did serve it up to him and Yorkhill is a really special horse.
The guv’nor also has Josses Hill in there but he thought with the way the weights are it just favours Top Notch.
L’Ami Serge (2.40) put up a career best when he won the French Champion Hurdle in June.
He really got his act together from Cheltenham onwards last season.
Obviously we’ve got it all to do with Defi Du Seuil – he looked very good last year – but I think we’ll be the ones to serve it up to him.
He travels very well. It’s just a case of biding your time on him – he won’t see me too early on him. He’s bound to come on for the run as well.
Malachite (3.50) was very green when I rode him on his debut at Worcester. He’ll come on for the run an awful lot and he’s been doing lots of work. I’m sure we’ll see a different horse to day.
The guv’nor said to me that he thinks he’s definitely got ability so I’m hoping for a big run.
The ground is sure to be really testing at Haydock for the Betfair Chase. It’s a big shame Sizing John hasn’t come over but it’s not hard to see why.
I think that leaves it open for Bristol De Mai to follow up his Charlie Hall Chase success.
We could have run Might Bite in it so I think the boss made a great call to run at Sandown the other week – we wouldn’t want to be running on that ground.
It’s all systems go for the King George with him.