It was fantastic to see The Rocket Park get off the mark – at 40/1 – on the Flat on Sunday in his first handicap start at Thirsk. It was also a memorable day for former Hong Kong-based jockey Howard Cheng, who rode his first winner in the UK having given ‘Rocky’ an excellent rail-skimming ride throughout.
Special congratulations must however go to Rocky’s owner Lawrence Wadey, who has been incredibly patient during this horse’s preparation. He has had a few setbacks along the way, as his race record suggests, but having won a bumper on his debut two years ago and then not really taken to hurdling, it’s now encouraging to see that he looks like he will be competitive in staying handicaps on the Flat.
Howard, who works for William Haggas and deserves to get more race rides, has instantly become the yard's new favourite jockey as he arrived the following morning with bags of carrots for Rocky and ice-creams for all the team. Nice touch, Howard, and thank you!
We are looking forward to the weather cooling down a bit towards the end of the week when we have Kryptos and Dereham entered for Chester and Chepstow.