I ride Big Orange in the Dubai Gold Cup on Saturday night and I am really looking forward to it. I am very good friends with Tim Gredley, Bill’s son, he was my neighbour for 18-years before I moved last year.
I rode Big Orange at Newmarket in the Jockey Club Stakes over a mile and a half, which was too short for him so he will be suited to this trip.
He’s a horse that always wears his heart on his sleeve, he always tries hard. I rode him just last week and for an old horse he’s in good shape.
He was second last year but I would say this year the race is stronger. There is a lot of depth in the race and he’ll be up against it but you have to respect Big Orange.
It is my only ride on Saturday, I was meant to ride Across the Stars but he didn’t make it. It looks a great card with most of the major players in the world turning up. It will be a great World Cup night.
The race I am most looking forward to watching is the Sheema Classic. Obviously Postponed is the favourite followed by Highland Reel, but keep an eye on Jack Hobbs. It is going to be a really exciting race.
It won’t be a walkover
Everyone thinks the Dubai World Cup will be a walkover for Arrogate but the dirt track at Meydan is completely different to America so I think people need to be careful.
It won’t be a shoo-in. It is notoriously very hard to come from behind so if he doesn’t get a very good start then everything is to play for.
I have won the Dubai World Cup three times but my first win was my most important.
I was on Dubai Millennium and it was the year 2000 obviously! He really was one of the best horses I’ve ever ridden in my life. All the locals were behind him and the way that he won it was so special.
People often ask me how it compares to the UK. I always say the Dubai World Cup favours the American horses as it is run on dirt, it is the second richest race in the world and some great names have won it in the past.
In my opinion it is up there as one of the best races in the world.
I’d have liked more rides
I love catching up with some of the international jockeys who I don’t get to see as often. I haven’t seen Mike Smith for a while or many of the Japanese jockeys. We’ve ridden together for the best part of twenty to thirty years and we are like a big family.
I am sad that I’ve only got one ride, but my race is quite early so I’ll be able to enjoy the Grandstand atmosphere with all my friends afterwards.
The dreams are alive for the year ahead
I’ll be flying back the next day and getting ready to go to Doncaster for the Lincoln – the season a little bit stop and start at this stage.
After the Lincoln it goes quiet with the Grand National and then it really kicks off with the Craven.
For the season ahead, all of the dreams are still alive. We haven’t pressed any buttons yet but the horses look well and are making steady progress.
We’ve still got four weeks before the trainer meeting but so far so good.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing