I can understand why Joseph O’Brien called time on his riding career this week He did remarkably well to battle the scales for as long as he did – it must have been like trying to push water up a hill.
Riding for his dad, Aidan, at Ballydoyle must have put him under enormous pressure at times but it never seemed to worry him. He shipped a fair amount of criticism when Australia was beaten in the Irish Champion Stakes and dealt with it gracefully. He also won more Classics than most jockeys could ever dream of.
It’s incredible to think he’s still only 22 and is about to enter his second career. I wish him well and if he’s as good a trainer as he was a jockey than he’ll be a rising star.
Docket, Meydan, 5:20pm
He’s having his first run in Dubai for the red-hot Doug Watson stable. Although he broke his maiden at Tampa Bay downs on the turf he previously had some fair form on a dirt surface over Friday’s six furlong trip. Starts off on a handicap mark of 80 and with the experience of American racing under his belt on dirt – he could be absolutely thrown in. It’s not a particularly strong race for the money that’s on offer.
Ruby Gates, Dundalk, 6:05pm
Has been found an ideal opportunity to get her head in front by Aidan O’Brien at the third time of asking. The three-year-old filly was very green and slowly away on her debut over course and distance. She then took a significant step forward when finishing second over the mile around here at Dundalk. Dropping down a furlong in trip won’t be an issue and she’s also drawn right on the paint in stall one – so expect her to make all.
Relarita , Dundalk, 8:05pm
She has been kept around Dundalk for all of her seven races and since she statred handicapping she has run some excellent races behind the likes of Pick your Battle and Tribal Pass. She went too quick in the early stages last month and paid the price for that late on when fading into fourth. With the visor on for the second time, she may well just switch off into a better rhythm this time and cope better.
Jaarih , Chelmsford City, 8:15pm
Picked up out of a claimer and hasn’t done too much wrong bar one really poor effort at Southwell, two starts back.
He showed plenty of pace at Wolverhampton last time over the minimum trip and is not too badly drawn in stall seven on his Chelmsford debut. The handicapper has dropped him a pinch to a mark of 74 and as he’s blessed with plenty of early pace – he makes plenty of appeal.