After the madness of Cheltenham, life for Mick is yet to slow down. He has been busy racing and then had a week off at home looking after the horses while his wife and kids went skiing. Unfortunately for Mick, he can no longer ski due to previous riding injuries, so he has to stay at home and hold the fort whilst looking after all of the animals.
Mick is on his way to the studio in Milton Keynes as we catch up and tells me he is off to Aintree on Wednesday morning. We look ahead to the main race day at Aintree this Saturday 14th April and I ask Mick what he fancies for the feature race of the week, the one we have all been waiting for. The way Mick looks at it, is as if her were riding...and which horse he would want to ride. A horse with class and a good recent form is the winning formula for him, this draws his attention to ANIBALE FLY who finished third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. BLACKLION is another option for Mick, who was 4th last in the Grand National last year. However, he does have some concerns that BLACKLION faded last year and this year will be carrying extra weight but after a wind op, he is hopeful he can make it home in front.
Mick then points out that this has been a great year for female jockeys. Mick is a big advocate for female riders and says “Gender shouldn’t come into it, like in eventing...no one mentions, ‘Mary King is a good rider for a girl.’ I am a great believer that all athletes are treated with equal respect in all sports”.
This year we will see three female jockeys mounted for the race, which is fantastic to see. Mick says he was lucky to have plenty of role models growing up and now young females with similar aspirations have role models of their own. Each of the female riders have a great chance and there is a great case for each horse. Starting with Rachael Blackmore who rides ALPHA DES OBEAUX. This horse was 2nd in a stayers hurdle and Rachael is a very capable rider. Bryony Frost is next and riding MILANSBAR who she has won on before and stands a great chance. Lastly we have Katie Walsh who has been placed in the race before, so she knows it well and will be on board BAIE DES IIES. This horse is trained by her husband Ross so would make a great story if they could bring home the win!