GOOD horses get you out of trouble . . . great horses do it in the biggest races.
For me the Goodwood Cup yesterday was all about two things — trust and patience.
Total trust in Stradivarius to get us out of the hassle we found ourselves in. And patience in waiting for the room to do it.
Years of experience has taught me if you are on a good horse that gap will come.
It did. Although I am sure John Gosden was as relieved as I was when we got in the clear.
Stradivarius is not just a good horse, mind you. He is easily the best stayer I have ever sat on. He is jack the lad at home and an amazing horse on the track.
To do what he did yesterday and win a record fourth Goodwood Cup on the trot is incredible. Everybody rode their race to beat us and he still won.
It capped a brilliant few days for me as I was still on a high from Enable’s record-breaking third win in the King George.
All I can say is I count myself very fortunate and honoured to ride these great champions for John Gosden.
Stradivarius will now be given a break as I know the owner Bjorn Nielsen is very keen for the horse to have a shot at the Arc. He certainly deserves a crack at it.
It’s always nice to win the first big race of the meeting as it takes the pressure off and means I can enjoy the week.
The Sussex Stakes today looks a cracker . . . but then it always is one of the races of the season.
I’ve been lucky enough to have won it five times over the years. My first was on Second Set for Luca Cumani 29 years ago.
Last year was great when Too Darn Hot beat Circus Maximus and I’m hoping for something similar today when I jump back on board Wichita (3.15) for Aidan O’Brien.
I spoke to Aidan a few days ago and told him I was keeping my fingers crossed I’d get the ride on the colt.
He told me I could have whichever horse Ryan didn’t pick.
Rest of my Goodwood rides…
I’ve also got three nice rides in the handicaps, with Lake Lucerne (1.10), Encipher (2.15) and finally Verboten (4.20).
Handicaps at Goodwood are just about the toughest around so we will all need a slice of luck. I haven’t ridden Lake Lucerne before but she’s lightly-raced and won a maiden last season.
She’s hopefully one who has a bit of class and is progressive.
Encipher has a bit more experience and is nearer the top of the weights in his race as a result. This is obviously a big step down from the Dante where he ran last time, so hopefully he can get competitive again.
Verboten is a decent three-year-old getting weight against older horses, but he’ll need to bounce back from his run down the field at Ascot last time out.
It’s no surprise Ryan stayed with Circus Maximus having won the Queen Anne on him last month.
That suits me just fine as I really like Wichita.
He’s a proper horse who gave me a great feel when we finished second in the 2,000 Guineas and he also ran well in the St James’s Palace at Royal Ascot.
With unbeaten Siskin, 2,000 Guineas winner Kameko and Royal Ascot Summer Mile winner Mohaather all lining up this afternoon there is no doubt racing fans are in for a treat.
It’s the race of the Festival and may end up being one of the races of the year too as, apart from Palace Pier and the French horses all the best milers are in there.