It was great to win the Irish Champion Hurdle yesterday on PETIT MOUCHOIR, who did it very well. He ran a good gallop from the word go and he never stopped. It feels great to win another Grade One, and getting the big race winners is the reason why I became a jockey. I always get an amazing feeling when I win any race, but winning the big races is that little bit more special.
The whole way round I was completely focused and didn’t take much notice of what was going on around me, but after I jumped the last I noticed Ruby wasn’t there anymore, and I knew all my horse had to do was stay galloping, and we’d win.
The Arkle Novice Chase was very frustrating for me. I was unseated at the first, riding IDENTITY THIEF, who made no shape over the fence. The horse made a mistake which made me fall off, but then it’s just as much my fault as it was his. I wasn’t too happy about that, but you have to move on, and luckily my win on PETIT MOUCHOIR later on was a huge consolation.
I had a great day at Gowran Park last week, where I picked up two wins. The first was on ADREAMSTILLALIVE who is a mare that’s improving a lot. She’ll be good over fences in the future, but the way she’s improving, there are another few hurdle wins still left in her.
I won the Thyestes Handicap Chase on the same day with CHAMPAGNE WEST, who was very, very good to win off such a high mark of 154. DJAKADAM won the same race on 145 and there’s no reason to say CHAMPAGNE WEST won’t improve like DJAKADAM did and he definitely deserves a crack at a three-mile Grade One now.
It was sad to see the racing world lose MANY CLOUDS on Saturday after he beat THISTLECRACK in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham. It is always terrible to lose a horse, and the connections must be saddened to lose a one with as much class and heart as MANY CLOUDS had. He’ll be missed by the public, the his connections and everyone in racing.
I ride REIGNING SUPREME at Leicester on Wednesday, who won his Maiden Hurdle well in England. I’ve sat on him before at Nicky Henderson’s and he’s a lovely, big, chasing type and I’m hoping for a big performance on Wednesday.
MONALEE will be at Clonmel on Thursday, after skipping Leopardstown because the ground was too quick, so he'll run in the Grade Three Novices Hurdle instead. He's very well thought of at the yard and will take a lot of beating. I've had two spins on him before and felt great both days, so I'd be expecting the same when I ride him on Thursday.