Racing tip of the day
Will Hayler takes his hat off to jockey Saleem Golam and provides the sportinglife.com racing team's tip of the day.
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Saleem Golam doesn't know this, but I'm a long-time follower of his work in the saddle, and not just because we shared the same driving instructor about 10 years ago.
I've seen him have a couple of shockers, but I've also seen him ride plenty of good races and some very good races. I've also wondered why he gets so few chances to prove his talents these days.
Last night, he was interviewed on At The Races by the excellent Matt Chapman - who has really made these Monday night slots at Windsor his own in recent weeks, with an industrious determination to talk to as many owners, trainers and jockeys as he can.
What started out as a little bit of gentle ribbing after Golam had belatedly ridden his first British winner of the season (he rode 44 in 2005 when joint champion apprentice jockey) became quite a moving interview about a jockey's struggle to keep afloat, mentally as much of anything, in the face of fortune and fashion.
"It's been a bit of a disaster really, but you've got to keep working away, keep plugging away," he said.
"It's all about keeping the mind right. If you let that go then you're in trouble. I've just worked away.
"Obviously it's disappointing for me. It's not disappointing for anyone else. But I've always had the faith in myself and it's all about the opportunities you get and the horses that you are riding at the end of the day.
"This is what I do, this is my job, I go to work every day and it's embarrassing basically to say I haven't ridden a winner this season when others have ridden 70 or 80, whatever it is. But mentally if you let it go then you start getting a bit despondent and you can turn to drink or start partying and all the rest of it, but if you get your head right and just say hopefully if you ride it out it will come good in the end. "Whether it does or not, at least you can say you tried. As long as you're trying then there's nothing really else you can do.
"I have the faith in myself. I always have. I've got the thing where I go to Qatar in the winter and that probably doesn't help me because I get forgotten about, but that's my decision and I do that and I have no regrets about doing that. I firmly have the belief in myself that I can get the job done as well as 90 per cent of them in the weighing room."
I don't know about you, but I'll be cheering extra hard when Golam rides his next winner. Good luck to him.
Andrea Atzeni's career continues to blossom just in the way that Golam's always looked as if it would and he takes the ride on the horse I reckon is today's tip of the day, Don Padeja, at Leicester.
To some extent it's a case of the others unpicking themselves, as most of his opponents have major questions to answer for one reason or another.
Rock God looks temperamental, Hot Spice hasn't fired for his new yard over hurdles, Opera Buff can't seem to win a race and this step up in trip looks a case of hit and hope for Codebreaker.
This is only the fifth start of Don Padeja's career and he might well already have been coming here with a win under his belt had David Probert looked a bit livelier at Lingfield.
Perhaps that track didn't entirely suit him though, and the way the race panned out certainly didn't.
This step up to middle distances is surely going to bring out the best in Don Padeja and I'll be very surprised if he's not in the shake-up this evening in the Shelduck Handicap.