SIX winners in the last 10 days... it has been a while since I put together a streak like that.
Actually I can’t remember the last time so it must be years. It’s a strange one because it’s been achieved on little or no sleep and reduced energy levels following the arrival of my first baby.
Last week I was averaging about two hours a night, then hiking it out in the car and on the course the next day.
Aoife’s routine has been to go asleep at 11.30pm and then she wakes at 2am for her first feed - this is my bottle shift. She goes back to sleep and has been waking again then at 5am.
Usually I’d be up and about at that time anyway but I’m not riding-out at the moment so I’m there to help my wife Aimee in the mornings.
The combination of the baby and the wins has given me a serious adrenalin shot and I don’t feel too tired even though I know physically that I am. It has been masked by all that has been happening and I haven’t felt the lack of sleep impact on my concentration in-race. The winning buzz has been pushing me into the next day.
My schedule has always been full; it is just a different kind of full right now. I even managed to get to the gym one of the days last week after racing.
Saying that, it was nice to see my mam arrive into Birmingham Airport from Ireland. Aoife is her first grandchild and she is naturally excited about it all. There were four generations on the couch at home the other evening with Aimee’s grandmother there too.
This week all roads lead to Aintree for the Grand National Festival. It’s always a meeting I’ve enjoyed and I’ve been lucky to have a few results there down the years.
It’s too early to say if I’ll have a ride in the National. There are a couple of live options open to me, but it all depends on whether the trainers decide to declare them.
In terms of a tip for the National itself, I’d be checking to see who Paul Moloney is riding if I was having a punt. In all five Grand Nationals he has ridden, Paul has never finished outside the first five home.
But the horse I would really like to be on would be Balthazar King who won the Cross Country at Cheltenham. This lad should be there at the shakedown.