Don’t you dare discount Shishkin… and my cracking 5-1 tip for the Flat season


IT IS the jumps season – and the worst thing you can do in the jumps season is talk Flat racing.

Yes, I know, no-one cares about Flat racing at this time of year in the UK unless they are getting a free trip abroad.

Ryan can claim the title off Murphy and Buick through skill and sheer number of ridesGetty

However, I can’t help myself because there are a couple of things I want to suggest.

The first is that I think Rossa Ryan is a cracking bet to be champion jockey this year.

Ryan is currently a 5-1 shot. I think those are long odds. William Buick is at 1-2 with Oisin Murphy at 3-1.

Ryan rode 202 winners last term. He’s already banged in 29 this year. He’s riding out of his skin and is catching the eye of everyone.

Crucially, unlike Buick and Murphy, he won’t get dragged away too much for big foreign rides.

Added to that, at lesser meetings I suspect Ryan will be in huge demand.

We all know the jockeys’ championship is a shambles to what it once was, and I’m not sure any Flat jockey cares that much about it.

But Ryan has never been the champion and there’s a good chance it will mean more to him than most.

I’m happy to advise take a bit of the 5-1.

In similar vein most of you will curse at anyone mentioning the 2000 Guineas, but after a chat I had with Richard Hannon the other day I think it’s time to just start getting a little bit excited about the colt’s Classic.

In fact, I think if those in power had any drive or desire to promote the sport they would already be starting to get the public a little bit jiggy.

As they don’t, I’m going to start doing it for them.

It might just be this year’s 2000 Guineas is one of the most special we have seen for a long time.

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Added to which, it mixes what we all love at Cheltenham, that Ireland vs UK smash up.

In City of Troy – who has already drawn comparisons to Frankel – and, to be honest, Henry Longfellow we have two horses from the Aidan O’Brien yard that might be absolute superstars.

Hannon believes Rosallion is the best he has trained. The French Group 1 winner looked a star over Arc weekend and will stay strong.

It promises to be a great race with Godolphin sure to fire salvos.

Yes it’s the jumps season, but now is the time to just begin to get excited about a 2000 Guineas to savour.

As far as jumps racing is concerned I’m getting a bit bored of everyone saying Shishkin is a character and a dodgepot.

Of course, Shishkin refused to race at Ascot earlier this season, but I don’t see him as any sort of rogue at all.

All I hear is that he has his “own ways of doing things” and is this or that.

But Shishkin has always been a genuine beast in my eyes.

He has the running style Altior once had, but I don’t see how needing to be nudged and asked for an effort from time to time makes him ungenuine.

In fact in my book it’s the opposite. The cruisers are the ungenuine horses, one of the reasons why the whip rules are so ridiculous.

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So here’s a cry to stop calling Shishkin names. He’s won 14 of his 20 races for goodness sake.


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