Brendan's Diary: Royale delight
After Hey Big Spender winning a few weeks ago it was all smiles again as I managed to continue the good weekend run with a winner last Saturday for Nick Williams at Sandown.
- Related Content
Benefique Royale was the horse in question - she gave me a great spin to eventually win by just over 2 lengths and considering the pace of the race wasn't really to her liking (the leaders kept slowing it up) it was nice to see her knuckle down and land the prize.
She can be a bit keen in her races, so a stronger run contest would be better for her in the future and, now she's broken her duck over this longer trip, I'm sure connections are excited about what's next.
Later on at Sandown it was terrific to have a ride in the Tingle Creek as Colin and the owners of Oiseau de Nuit stuck with me. I've now ridden him in 6 of his last 7 starts so will be hoping later in the season, which is really his time of year, I'll be getting the leg-up for some decent races at the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals.
He still ran really well to finish fourth on Saturday, albeit beaten just over 16 lengths. Let's not forget he's 11 years-old now and he did well to hang in there for much of the way and did best, if you take the top three in the betting out of that race - I'm sure there will be a race in him when we head into spring.
Finally at Sandown on Saturday Alfie Spinner did well to finish fourth in the London Marathon. He's a proper jumper and gave me a great feel - he was a real joy to ride and I really think if we'd had another furlong to go he'd have won as he was flying up the Sandown hill. He's certainly one to watch, especially over these extreme trips as he wants a real stamina test.
Jumps Road was another nice winner for me last week as he kept on finding up the Wincanton straight to hold off one of Jonjo's, who I'm told traded at 1.01 in-running after travelling well in behind me - ouch!
Once again it was good to see Jumps Road's loyal owners after the race (Chasing Gold Racing Club) - they treat every winner like one at Cheltenham and are great supporters - always wearing their racing colours with scarfs - so I was glad to boot home another winner for them.
However, after such a good week, and a great Saturday, it was back down to earth with a bump (or two) - quite literally - on Sunday after I unseated and fell off another up at Warwick. Oh, well - that's why we love the game, and at least there were no injuries to the horses or me!
This early part of the week has been quiet with just one ride so far at Fontwell so I've done a bit of Xmas shopping - thank god it's only once a year as my bank balance has taken a hammering - I keep forgetting people who I should be getting something for - at least the old man's done!
Later this week I should be off to Taunton on Thursday for three rides, with Tarabela, who has won her last two, looking the best of those for the Johnny Farrelly team. She's not been out for a while, and will be the oldest in the field at 10 years-old, but she seems well at home and with dad having one in the race too (Only Witness) then it will be nice to see him off - only joking!
Friday I could be at Bangor, but that's not 100% yet, but on Saturday I will be looking for another big weekend winner as I'm more than likely heading to Cheltenham.
Masters Hill goes in their 1.50 - the Albert Bartlett trial race - and although it's a very competitive-looking contest he seems very well at home and Colin took this race back in 2006 so that's a good sign - plus, if his run/finishing sequence continues in the same manor (PU-1-3-1-PU-1-PU) there's only going to be one winner!
Have a good week!
Follow Brendan on Twitter @brendanp1995