Here Comes the Sun (MCR)As a great but cold and bleak Jump season draws to close, my favorite period of the racing calendar is just around the corner.
The start of the British flat season it could be said, starts at Dubaiís Meydan racecourse tomorrow. The big race is the Dubai World Cup (5.35pm, CH4), and is the conclusion of the Dubai Racing Carnival which started back in Jan of this year. As with every year, the best of British and Irish flat jockeys finish their season here and then maybe fly out to Japan or Australia for a brief racing stint and then take part in the Dubai Festival. The big race tomorrow features six British and Irish jockeys in a field of fourteen, and one of them may be taking home the winnings (3.5 mil to the first over the line).
Then its back home for what should prove to be another fantastic flat season, with some pretty special horses coming through the ranks, and the more established ones guarding their titles. Some strong early penciled in big race entries include Workforce in The Irish Derby, and Henry Cecilís Frankel in The 2,000 Guineas. Some cracking younger jockeys to watch out for are Harry Bentley who has been swiveling heads out in Dubai, and from what I have seen of him on the telly he Isnít scared of jostling for position and getting right in the mix in the final furlongs of a race with the likes of the old guard like Frankie Detorri. William Carson (no, not that one) has been having a good season on the all-weather courses over here and should be one to watch out for as well. Tom Quelly and William Buick should just storm through this season if last year is anything to go by. The stable I will be watching out for is John Oxxís Ireland set up. Last year in a shock (but affable) announcement Johnny Murtagh left Aidan Oí Brienís Coolmore Stud to go back to ride for Oxx who handles all of the Aga Khanís Irish horses. Murtagh was with John Oxx for years before and had some amazing winners, so my guessing is that Johnny has been lured back with the promise of some seriously good horses.
I canít wait me. I really canít. That is all.
P.S. Just a quick note on the brilliance of Channel 4 racing. If they do half as good a job on the flat season this year as they did on their coverage of the jump season and most notably The Cheltenham Festival I will be a happy man. This Saturday they cover 10 races from Lingfield, Newbury, and four from Dubai (including the big one).