The other option is to take a complete break but it is difficult to do in our career as you need to keep the momentum going. If one rides a horse one has an 80% chance of riding it again next time. There are occasions when you get jocked off but sometimes they are the due to things beyond your control. Under normal circumstances you will, in all likelihood, win on that horse in the next few starts.
Obviously by taking fewer rides your earnings drop and the continuity suffers, but the effect is far less than stopping all together.
The physiotherapists told me I don’t have to stop completely but they would maintain me through the period until I am back in the swing of things. There are numerous jockeys who have injuries. It is such a dangerous sport and we don’t take off the required time to heal properly. But by not riding you basically open the door for somebody else to take the ride and it is often difficult to get it back. That’s why we often come back sooner than we should from an injury.
Sometimes you have to make that sacrifice to get yourself back to the top of your game and I really feel within myself that it is starting to pay dividends.
We race on the inside track at Turffontein today. As you would have noticed because there has been no rain the going has hardened and the track is best suited to the speed horses.
Race 1 looks a two-horse affair between Boy Boy and James Blunt. Last time Boy Boy slipped as he came out of the stalls and I found myself further back than I wanted. He did run on well and I think 1600m should suit him. But I believe James Blunt is the horse who could make the most improvement and could be the horse to beat.
Race 2 is another Juvenile Plate which makes it difficult because we are not sure how much improvement a horse has made from one race to the next. The two main form lines are between Moonlit Venice and Sebonac. The only horse who finished ahead of Sebonac is Looker. He looks the horse to beat and the BiPot banker.
In Race 3 I ride Lonely Arethebrave. Unfortunately he is still learning his trade and for that reason the inside track might still catch him out. I initially thought the only danger could be Wilding and I suppose he can make huge improvement. On collateral form Lonely Arethebrave has a few lengths on Wilding so I would say my mount is the horse to beat. As these juveniles and lightly raced I would suggest putting both horses in the first leg of the Place Accumulator.
Race 4 there are two horses who look to fight this out – Jay River and Echuka – but as Jay River has a shocking draw over a distance for which a good draw is essential, I would bank Echuka in all bets. Last time she came from a hopeless position and from a good draw could improve.
My initial thoughts about Race 5 were that Shepherds Warning, Castle Keep, Dirty Champagne and Luca Delago should fight it out so you should consider all of those for the Pick 6. But I rode Castle Keep last time and he struggled to keep up. I think 1200m will still be too short, especially off a wide draw. Dirty Champagne has a shocking draw and Luca Delago ran in a moderate work riders’ race. For that reason I would banker Shepherds Warning in the PA and maybe even the Pick 6.
In Race 6 I first felt the younger horses should fight it out – Hillbrow and Glasswing. They could be good enough for the Place Accumulator. For the Pick 6 I would consider Newton Power, as he is a hard knocker who has run behind some quality horses, and off a good draw could beat the young guns.
Another horse to consider is Principal Man. I’m not sure about his fitness as he I coming off a rest. He has been running in feature races off bad draws and could easily surprise. I ride Brad’s Surge and I’m hoping for a place as Glasswing has the beating of him on collateral form.
Glasswing could also make more improvement as he is lightly raced.
I ride One Man’s Dream in Race 7. On form he definitely has a chance but I have ridden him over this type of distance before and I really had a tough time to control him as he is quite a strong horse and not easily managed. You could include him in all bets but he is definitely not a banker.
My first choice is Sovereign Mint. He has only just won his maiden but has run against top quality horses. Unfortunately he is coming off a rest and has a shocking draw which is why we have to go wide. Others to be included are Regal Stride, Invierno, and the horse that let me down last week, Siddharth. After that you have to consider the field. Put all five into the PA and Pick 6
I ride Fortitude in Race 8. She’s had many opportunities to win so I would be happy to place in this field as Whatalady looks to be quite a decent sort. I would banker her in the PA and even consider doing the same in the Pick 6.
The only other horse I would consider in the Pick 6 is Queen Eliza. Talking the 4kg claim into account she is weighted to beat Whatalady but I think Whatalady can make the necessary improvement.
I ride Bernadine in Race 9. She struggled for speed last time and, in saying that, I hope she does stay 1600m. Unfortunately she has her soundness issues and she also ran in a very poor field last time. To my amazement she is the favourite in this field. I would look elsewhere for the winner.
I would lean towards She’s A Looker, Sweet Water, Silva Shama and Bluebell Glade. Those are my PA horses.
You could also consider the Mike de Kock coupling but even the field might be advisable in the Pick 6 as nothing stands out.
Looking at Race 10, I rode Casha last time. She had a bad draw and she is the type who needs everything to go her own way and the inside track could be right up her alley. She could be huge runner in this field.