Waking up yesterday, it was 20 years since I first won the Guineas on Mark Of Esteem. Back then it was a thrill but Galileo Gold’s success was possibly even better.
It was my first Classic win for my new boss Skeikh Joaan and that’s why it’s extra special. Hopefully it will be the first of many. Newmarket is home for me and when you win at your home town’s most important weekend of the year your emotions go into overdrive.
I always felt we would make the frame in the Guineas. I had a horrible draw so I knew I had to overcome that first and foremost. It worked out perfectly and he handled the Dip beautifully. I started celebrating before the line as the emotion poured out of me.
When I brought Galileo Gold back into the winner’s enclosure the feeling was electric. I could go on for another ten years or more if I get to enjoy days like yesterday.
I briefly popped round to Hugo’s [Palmer] after racing and we were all on cloud nine. Given how talented this guy is I hope there’ll be many more Classic parties to come. He’s a trainer really going places and although I was home and in bed by 10pm I reckon some of the guests will still be partying now and they deserve it!
Galileo Gold is a special horse and certain to improve. His time was smart and he travelled like a dream.
The feeling he gave me yesterday tells me he’s probably ready for 10 furlongs. I’m glad we don’t have to make a decision between Epsom and Royal Ascot just yet and I wouldn’t dare tell Hugo what to do anyway.
If you forced me to make a call now I’d say that for Epsom you need a top class horse and I think Galileo Gold is top class so maybe I’d lean towards a crack at the Derby.
I don’t want to give up my Derby crown without a fight, but the big question is whether he’ll be ready for a mile and a half in less than five weeks.
It could be touch and go, so Royal Ascot has to be in the mix.
For now, I can just reflect on one of the great days in my career and look forward to the season ahead with a Classic under my belt.
It doesn’t get better than that.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.