There is a plan for every horse with Sir Mark Prescott
PICTURE: Getty images
By David Ashforth 17:50PM 4 SEP 2016
Fernandes is a pioneer, the first Portuguese jockey to ride a winner in Britain. That was on Cote D’Azur at York in July. Last Thursday Fernandes won on Ocean Ready at Salisbury and on Saturday he won on All The Rage at Wolverhampton to make it three wins from just five rides in Britain this year, all for Prescott.
Fernandes claims 7lb but has plenty of experience, much of it riding Arab horses. Last winter the 24 year old became the first Portuguese jockey to ride a winner in Dubai, where he won five times, and last year was the first Portuguese jockey to ride in the USA, in a leg of the Arab racing Apprentice World Championship.
The unheralded Fernandes, who had nine rides here in 2014/2015, has been a useful weapon. On Cote D’Azur he rode a waiting race, a gap opened up conveniently on the rails and horse and rider won stylishly. On Ocean Ready, Fernandes made ground from the rear and went for home a long way out, arguably a bit too far out but Ocean Ready kept on well and Fernandes was probably following instructions. I hope so or he might have been hung out of a window at Heath House.
At Wolverhampton, hampered early on, All The Rage was tucked in nicely from an outside draw. Brought wide and sent for home early in the straight, she held off Roxie Lot’s late effort.
The beauty of Fernandes’s successes is that they have all been in apprentice races, thus avoiding a penalty. Cote D’Azur won his next race off the same handicap mark and Ocean Ready will probably be odds on to do the same.
Some trainers seem to operate without much in the way of advanced planning. Prescott is not among them. You know there is a plan for every horse. Being horses, the plans often have to be changed but it’s better to have a plan than not to have one.
I don’t know for how long it has been Jedd O’Keeffe’s plan to run More Mischief in a Listed race at Galway (6.35) but it will be the horse’s, the trainer’s and jockey Joey Haynes’s first appearance at Galway.
More Mischief has twice finished runner-up in Listed races this year and although well beaten in a Group 3 race at Cork last month the filly has a good chance of being placed although a less good chance of beating the favourably weighted, lightly raced Almela.
Meanwhile, at Perth, Gordon Elliott and Richard Johnson team up again, four times. This season Johnson has ridden more winners for Elliott than for any other trainer and over the last five jump seasons, Elliott has had far more winners (66) at Perth than at any other course in Britain or Ireland, at a strike rate of 29 per cent. Impressive.