It’s an incredible amount of winners, 546, and my dad Ted held the record for a long time. If you can hold the record for as long as he did it’s a fair achievement to break it.
Especially when you think that they’re pretty much confined to riding one race a day, it’s a hell of a lot of wins.
This is a different time now as well, of course. I don’t know if there are better opportunities for amateur jockeys now, bumpers are always strong, but there’s obviously more racing now.
It took dad from the age of 16, when he started riding, til he was 36 or 37 to reach that mark. Patrick’s achieved it in 12 years, and there’s no reason he couldn’t have another 12 years in him.
And it’s not unreasonable to think, if he keeps going the way he’s going, he could become the first amateur to ride a thousand winners!
Patrick’s had a few Grade 1 winners over hurdles and had a double at Punchestown too. He doesn’t get that many opportunities over jumps, but when he gets them he takes them. He doesn’t leave much behind him. Tactically he’s very clever and sharp, he puts a lot of thought into what he does.
Like the rest of us, he gets it wrong sometimes, but he realises when he does and won’t make the same mistake twice.
He has four winners at Cheltenham, and he’s been good enough to ride in a few Gold Cups too. Willie didn’t hesitate in turning to him to ride Douvan in the Champions Chase this year when I got hurt.
New sponsors need to be patient
Magners is the new sponsor of the Gold Cup, it’s the fourth one since 2011. The Tote had a savage relationship with the Gold Cup, and Cheltenham were lucky to have the Tote for as long as they did.
It can often be hard for sponsors when they take over from one that’s been there long-term to get the publicity they want. Races can become synonymous with a title. It can be very difficult. The way I’d look at it, if sponsors are to get the publicity they want out of a race, they need to commit to it longer.
Hopefully Magners will commit to the four years, it might take a bit of time for them to get what they want, but if they stick with it, they will get it eventually.
It’ll take a few years for them to build their name into it.
Look at the Grand National. Martell was there, John Smith got a few years out of it, there was another sponsor there a few years, I can’t even remember the name of it, which goes to prove my point! They weren’t there long enough to build the familiarity of their name with the race.
For a sponsor to get the value, they need to stay there longer, they need to commit. People become familiar with things and it takes a long time for it to change.
Names don’t change in people’s heads overnight.
Tiger can get his teeth into Carnoustie
I’m a keen golfer myself, and my personal view is Tiger is worth a flutter this week. His iron play is exceptional at the moment.
On a very dry links course he won’t need to use his driver, he can play irons all the way, and he’s having great luck with his putter.
Now, I am a Tiger fan, so maybe I a bit biased, but at 25/1 I think he’s great value.