IF it’s Saturday, it must be Yala Enki . . . that seems to be the routine at the moment.
The Welsh National one week, winning at Taunton the next, and then plans to run at Cheltenham wrecked by the weather.
But those extra few days won’t have done him any harm, and I can’t wait to get on him again at Sandown.
When I rode him on Thursday morning, he jogged all the way home and only stopped to a walk when we hit the driveway going back into the yard.
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We know all about his stamina and Sandown is arguably stiffer than Cheltenham when the ground becomes this soft, so that will be interesting.
This is a much deeper race, with the likes of Bristol De Mai, Santini and a past Gold Cup winner in Native River in there, but he won’t fail for lack of determination.
He’s in the form of his life, so why not let him have a crack at a race like this with top horses?
Like the rest of the country, we’ve been struggling with the weather this week, although my dad in Devon has had it really bad with torrential rain most days.
It’s never great when you’re getting through three waterproof coats in a morning, but as long as it’s warm enough I’m okay.
My problems are more with the cold – I should be used to it being brought up on Dartmoor, but I’m useless, the more layers the better!
The horses are the same as us in it, too. Some don’t mind the rain, others are less happy and they do have ways of letting you know.
It’s like when we talk about them knowing the courses, because they definitely recognise it if they frequently visit the same track, things like which way to turn out of the paddock on the way to the start.
Sometimes you have a cheeky one and you have to be aware they might be thinking ‘that’s home’ passing the paddock.
They do have their own clock in their head and the more experienced are very aware of their speed and timing themselves for max speed – we’re not in charge of all the control pedals, put it that way!
The ground at Ffos Las on Thursday was the softest I’ve ridden on this season, and we very much got stuck in the mud with my gang.
But it was nice for Miss Heritage to finally get her win this season after hitting the bar three times.
That was my fourth win from the last 16 rides, so of course I’m happy with a strike-rate like that. We’ll keep moving and keep the momentum going forward.
This is my first season riding for Lucy Wadham and it’s going really well, they are a great team to be involved with.
In the meantime, keep kicking and stay safe.
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