It feels like the season has got properly underway now and I'm really looking forward to getting back on the course this weekend.
I went over to Ireland last weekend to watch some of the pointers, some of which will be going to the sales next week. I went around with Richard Pugh, an auctioneer with Tattersalls which was a great experience and we learned a lot.
I love The November Meeting at Cheltenham. It's the first multi-day meeting of the season, and one where I have happy memories. I rode my first ever Cheltenham winner aboard Palmers Hill in the Conditional's race on the Sunday last year for Mr McManus and dad.
I'm not sure who I will be riding on Friday. Maybe L'Air Du Vent of Colin Tizzard's who is entered in the Grade 2 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle 2m5f trial. I won his bumper in Bangor last year and he's a very nice horse. So if he goes there it would be nice to ride him. He's very much a work in progress but he could be something really nice.
Saturday, we have Prefontaine running in the Grade 2 JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle. He's a bit of a monkey. He unseated me in his first run and was quite sloppy in his jumping on his second time at Fontwell. He really got his act together at Kempton the next time in blinkers that sharpened him up and won quite nicely having made the running. The horse that came second that day has gone out this week and won, so the form looks good which bodes well. This however is a big step up in grade and we will know where we are with him after the race.
Pop Rockstar is also in on Saturday in the 3m3f Grade 3. He's an interesting horse who is on the way up. He has won his last two races at Carlisle and Chepstow and he's a good strong stayer who jumps very well. He could either go for this race or wait until next weekend at Haydock. He's in great form and dad will make a decision with owner Laura Day later this week. He could have the Welsh National in the back of his mind if he goes well in the next couple of weeks.
I was at Cheltenham on Tuesday morning with Richie (McLernon) schooling over the cross-country fences. The ground was pretty soft and I imagine the main track will also be relatively soft which is to be expected. It could definitely suit Pop Rockstar.
On Sunday, we have a couple of entries in the conditional race. It's a pretty special race for me and it would be amazing to try and win that again.
I'm really looking to getting going again with hopefully no hold ups and a clear run through the season, touch wood"