He has been on the go since April but he has kept his form very well, and in fact he ran a career-best when second over 6f in the Sirenia Stakes last time. The winner Invincible Army went on to finish second in the Mill Reef, so that was strong form. And he showed he can go this way round – and he also won at Lingfield on his debut for me – when beating another smart sort in Mokaatil by 6 lengths at Wolverhampton previously. I wasn’t on him for those two runs but obviously I know him well from earlier in the season and I think Archie [Watson] has made a good move bringing him for this race on the undercard. He has bags of early pace, is clearly fully effective at 5f, and conditions here should play to his strengths. As Archie has pointed out, he is three from three over 5f around a bend, and I’d like to think he has a decent chance in this 5f sprint, and his draw in seven could have been worse. But it is clearly a very tough race, as you’d expect for a $200,000 pot, and, in addition to the home team, there is also the likes of the Windsor Castle winner Sound And Silence and Aidan’s Declarationofpeace in here.
The ground wasn’t ideal for her in the Abbaye last time. Don’t get me wrong, Battaash was on another planet that day, but while Marsha handles soft ground she is much better on a sounder surface, which you assume she will get here. The tempo of the race and the track is not sure to suit her, and we certainly won’t know until we try, but if she travels into the race as well as she did when beating Lady Aurelia at York – and a lot of people forget how well she went through the race that day – then that will give her every chance of running her race. And if she does, then she has a winning form chance. And we could have had a worse draw than six of 12 for her. It will be a different experience for her, but I suppose she did win around Catterick as a youngster – and we took her to Chelmsford before she came over – and she seems to have handled the travelling to America fine. I had a sit on her on Wednesday and she seemed in good order. It’s the end of a long season for her but it is great to be here. It will be the first time I have ridden in the States but I enjoyed a three-month spell with Ben Cecil in California a few years back, so it is not as if the whole American experience is alien to me. As a jockey, you want to be experiencing new environments or challenges, so it’s exciting to be riding a top-class horse like Marsha at one of the world’s big meetings.
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