Last weekend I rode at Kincsem Park in Hungary for the first time and the locals couldn’t have been nicer to me. I rode two winners for Jim and Fitri Hay – Ian Williams’ Silent Film and Splendent for Paul and Oliver Cole. It was good that Jim and Fitri sent so many horses over there. The track was in immaculate condition and there was a good turnout – it was a really fun experience.
I’m at Down Royal on Friday for the first time and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s been planned for a while and they are such big fans of racing in Ireland. I always love going there. I’m off to Leopardstown on Saturday for the big World Pool meeting and then to the Curragh on Sunday. It will be my last time riding at those two great tracks and I’m sure it will be emotional. Let’s hope we can find a bit of success along the way.
The G1 Irish Champion Stakes is always one of the highlights of the season, it’s a race steeped with history. I’ve won it six times and it would be unbelievable if I could win it again on ONESTO. He was a fine second to Luxembourg 12 months ago and he’s a very good horse in a very good race.
They’ve all lined up and it looks pretty open. You expect races like this to be tough, that’s how it should be. You’ve got the Derby winner and the Derby second, last year’s winner and others who have won G1s. We just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope we get a bit of luck, but he certainly goes there with a chance.
I ride BOLD DISCOVERY for Jessie Harrington and Marc Chan in the G2 Dullingham Park Stakes. I haven’t ridden him before but he ran well behind me on Epictetus at Goodwood when it was soft. He has winning form on quicker ground, so hopefully the recent heatwave will help his chances. It looks another quite open race, though.
Winning the Ebor on my final ride at York for Willie [Mullins] was Absurde! It’s always a pleasure to ride for the yard and he rang me to see if I wanted to be on JACKFINBAR in the Petingo Handicap. That’s normally a good sign. He ran in the Ebor as well and even though it didn’t work out for him, this isn’t as strong a race. Hopefully he has a good each-way chance.