It’s a big day at Navan on Sunday and the Tote Pick 6 has a rollover of €43,014. With some leading fancies in races with small fields, the Pick 6 could prove to be easier to win than usual. I will go through each race and build a suggested Pick 6, but you can build your own by going through the card and picking your own fancies.
Don’t forget to check out the Bet Like A Pro blog which walks you through the process and helps you identify the best way of building a successful Pick 6.
It was always Alan and Ann’s ambition to win a Gold Cup at Cheltenham and Sizing John managed to also win the Gold Cups at Leopardstown and Punchestown for good measure and it was fantastic that they could be there for that and Alan was very keen on this horse going for the triple crown of staying chases in England and the £1,000,000 bonus so it would be some story if the horse could do that but we’ll get Saturday out of the way first. We’ve known about this plan since the summer so he’s fit and ready to go and we’ll see what happens.
Sizing John Looking Good
Sizing John has been good and everyone has been happy with him since he has come back in, I don’t get to sit on him much, Kate Harrington doesn’t hand him over that often, but I got to go around Naas and Punchestown on him the last two weekends and I was happy with what was underneath me.
He’s definitely a better horse on better ground but according to the weather forecast he won’t get that this Saturday but he has some very solid Grade 1 form on soft ground so the ground shouldn’t be too much of an issue – there’s definitely nothing we can do about the ground anyway.
As delighted as I am to be riding these calibre of horses for Jessie and the Potts family, I’m also fully aware of how close I was to missing most of last season, if not retiring full stop.
After I fractured my eye-socket things just weren’t right when I went back riding out. I was seeing double and knew well I couldn’t continue. I gave it time but it didn’t come right until I was in the Eye And Ear hospital in Dublin and Clare Sheehan recommended that I visit the eye specialist Ian Flitcroft.
Ian had never dealt with jockeys before and asked did we wear any protective eye-wear and I told him that we wore goggles. It was his idea to put a prism onto the googles and thankfully it worked perfect. Had Clare not have suggested him or had he not been as intuitive, my career could have been over, or at best, I would have had to wait six months for surgery and then had the recovery time which would have kept me out longer and I’d have been sitting at home watching somebody else win on all of Jessie’s and Sizing John.
That’s why you need to take it day by day in this game. Look at poor Ruby at the weekend, you just never know.
I’d Prefer If This Season Didn’t End
This season there has been the slight change with Bryan Cooper going over to ride the horses owned by the Potts family in England and that is understandable because I have always been based with Jessie and there’s a lot of nice horses to ride over here. Bryan has some lovely horses to ride and look forward to and I will still continue to go over to ride for Colin whenever the opportunity arises.
I suppose it would be fair to say that I’d prefer if this year didn’t end, even despite the injuries I had during the summer, or at least say I hope next year can be as good!
You never know in this game and I’ve always been a person that stays positive and looks on the bright side and I remember when I started with Jessica Harrington it was Moscow Flyer that was writing the headlines and I just said to myself if I work hard here and keep the head down maybe another Moscow Flyer will walk through the gate and thankfully he did.
The spring of the year was one I’ll definitely never forget. Cheltenham, Aintree, Fairyhouse and Punchestown were all massive meetings for me and we are getting back into the time of year when all the good horses are emerging again now so it was brilliant to ride a Grade 2 double at Punchestown on Sunday.
It was very nice to get the opportunity to ride Jury Duty for Gordon Elliott and that was a winner that meant more to me than any other this year or throughout my career as he is a horse owned by a good group of old school pals and unfortunately Ciaran Collins, who is in the syndicate, isn’t that well at the moment so that puts everything into perspective and it meant an awful lot to me to be going past the post in front on Jury Duty knowing he was listening in.
Riding Next Destination to win at Naas on Saturday is a sharp reminder of how good a position I am in as second jockey to Ruby Walsh. I’d say this is my ninth season being second jockey to Willie Mullins and it is a fantastic position to be in, but I do know that the downside to that job is that I’m only borrowing Next Destination and I’ll be handing him back to Ruby the next day! Continue reading “Paul Townend – My Racing Story”→
Navan is the venue for a cracking winter jumps card on Sunday with no less than three Graded races. The Grade 2 Lismullen H’dle which could be a very exciting race which will see some top class performers line up. The 2m 4f contest sees the return of two exciting Grade 1 winning mares; Apple’s Jade and Jer’s Girl. The Noel Meade trained Monksland also lines up which makes this a race to look forward to. Continue reading “Tote Fortria Chase Day – Tipster & Preview”→
It’s a little over two years since I retired from race riding and while I don’t miss the day to day lifestyle of going here, there and everywhere, I do miss that adrenalin buzz from a race that you can never replace.
I still ride work for Willie and do a bit of schooling but nothing will ever replace that thrill of riding and winning races but it can’t go on forever either.
Retiring and what would happen next was something I would have obviously thought about and spoke to Willie about. I’ve been with him a very long time now and he always said that when the time came to retire from riding that there would always be a job there for me. Continue reading “David Casey – My Racing Story”→
Everybody knows just how competitive Irish racing is at the moment but I absolutely love being involved in the sport and between training a few myself for point-to-points and working in Gordon Elliott’s five days a week, I probably have the best of both worlds at the moment.
Point-to-point is the grassroots and it’s where I would have been brought by my mother and father growing up and even to this day, if we have runners or not, that is where you would spend most weekends. Continue reading “My Racing Story: Peter Flood”→
The Breeders Cup takes centre stage in the world of flat racing this weekend and there will be a host of Irish, UK and French fancies over the two days at Del Mar. There’s also going to be massive pools for all Tote Ireland customers to bet into and here we take a look at some of the prime fancies.