Will’s Quill – Post 2 from our Sponsored Jockey!

Good Afternoon all!

It’s Sunday afternoon an I’m in the car at Market Rasen Racecourse, so thought it was a good time to write a little bit…

IMG_20160313_201207

De Kerry Man in the winners enclosure (Photo from @LingfieldPark / Twitter)

My week started off just as the last finished, and as those of you who read this last week will know, I wasn’t too upset about that! I went to Lingfield on Monday for two rides, both of which looked to have chances. My first ride was for David Bridgwater, someone who I hadn’t ridden for before, in a Conditional training series Chase. To qualify to ride in this race, you weren’t able to have ridden more than 20 winners under rules, which meant that David Bridgwater’s conditional, Jake Hodson, had to be on the sidelines.

Many thanks to whoever put my name forward to Mr Bridgwater for the ride!

There were only four runners in the race and De Kerry Man and I were given a soft lead. He jumped well and we got racing turning in to the home straight – going on to win nicely by a couple of lengths after being challenged from 2 out. Brilliant! Another winner, on such a game Horse!

This put me in the lead for the Conditional training series too!

IMG_20160313_201322

Georgieshore in the winners enclosure (Photo from @LingfieldPark / Twitter)

I had a second ride booked for the day, Georgieshore (for Zoe Davison). He’s been a bit frustrating, knocking on the door in his races on several occasions and I have felt in the past like I’d never got him quite right.

It was his first start over the slightly longer trip of 2½ miles, and we sat upsides another in front. He settles better in his races going from the front and is a nice galloping type to do this with. Turning towards home, a few were coming off the bridle behind him and to his credit he stayed going! The further we went the better he seemed to go for me, and we went on to win by a nice 8 lengths! Awesome – another double! And brilliant for his connections, and of course Zoe & the team back at Shovelstrode.

Unfortunately after heading home from racing at Lingfield on cloud nine, Wednesday’s racing wasn’t meant to be. I was due to be heading to Fontwell for two rides, on our own Daliance, first time Chasing for EPDS & Noel Williams, as well as Dylansoeghan for Zoe Davison – a nice Horse who has run well for us in novice hurdles. I was buzzing! The heavens well and truly opened though, and the meeting was called off following an 8am inspection. Back down to Earth with a bang, and riding out in the rain instead of a day at the races! Double whammy! And on the first ‘official’ day of my EPDS Sponsorship, too…!

I went to Harry Whittington’s to ride out on my ‘morning off’  from Barbury on Thursday. IMG_20160313_200736Harry is a very up and coming trainer based just outside Lambourn, and being involved with the yard has been great. Heading down that way gave me a good excuse to head to Woodlands Saddlery to pick up my new EPDS Racing branded breeches! They look great and I can’t wait to wear them!

I’m at Market Rasen for two rides for James Evans today, as I type I’ve ridden Noble Leader already, and I’m now here until the last when I partner Buckontupence. Nobel Leader found two miles round here a bit too sharp. Market Rasen is known for being a bit of a speed track and you can’t get caught too far off the pace, and he didn’t quite have the speed at the time it was needed! There are plenty of positives to take from the day, he jumped very well and I got a good feel from him. He should get a handicap mark now and a step up in trip to slow things down for him should see him be competitive. I ride Buckontupence in the last, so hopefully he runs a good race for us!

The yard is buzzing for Cheltenham! Everything’s in place now and it’s just a case of putting the finishing touches to everyone and everything, making sure that the right people and the right Horses end up in the right places at the right time! Alan has a nice team to go to Cheltenham with this year, so I’m wishing them all the best and hope they all run well. It’d be great to get a Festival winner for the team this year, and of course for Alan and Wayne (Hutchinson). I think we all have a soft spot for Smad back home! I have a potential ride pencilled in on Ittirad for John Ferguson in the ‘boys race’ (Martin Pipe) at Cheltenham on Friday, and for me that’s a huge deal! A very exciting time at home and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Horse gets a run and I get the ride.

A reminder for your diaries! Fast forward to next weekend and make sure to pick up a copy of next weeks’ Racing Post Weekender! I got a call from Peter Scargill (who is a Journalist for the Racing Post), who wanted to talk about my background and how things are going, so hopefully that reads well and you all enjoy it!

Fingers crossed for a good week, especially those heading to the races, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the read!

Will

@willfeatherstone