I’m delighted to be reunited with Lightning Thunder, who takes a big drop in class at Haydock today.
Given she’s a dual 1000 Guineas runner-up, I’d be disappointed if she didn’t win the Listed Dick Hern Fillies’ Stakes.
I’ve ridden her in six of her seven starts and have done a lot of work with her at home, so have built up a good affinity. It’s great to be back on her and hopefully she can win this en route to a bigger prize.
She’s had a little break since Ascot, when Olivier Peslier took over the reins, and she’s been freshened up and seems in great form at home.
While she’s run some fantastic races in defeat, she hasn’t won for nearly a year, so hopefully this should be a nice confidence booster for her, and, at the end of the day, we need to get her head in front this season.
I have one other ride and it looks a good one. Llanarmon Lad runs in the 10-furlong handicap for Brian Ellison and has a great chance. He’s only been out of the first three once in nine starts and should take a hand in the finish.
I’m at Newbury tomorrow for the International Races on Dubai International Arabian Raceday. I have five rides for Julian Smart, who I have a good rapport with, and is a top-class trainer of Arabians.
I do enjoy riding the breed, as they are different to thoroughbreds. They are a bit smaller and appear more intelligent, so you almost have to kid them along. They don’t have a big turn of foot and you don’t want to hit the front too soon with them.
The big race is the £50,000 Shadwell Arabian Stallions Hatta International, in which I ride Al Anga, who is one of the best fillies in training and has plenty of speed.