Jockey Ben Curtis Seeks First US Winner

Jockey Ben Curtis is looking to land his first winner over in America as he handles a hectic racing schedule of going from Haydock to America and then back to Haydock in what shows the commitment some riders have to go through to push to be at the top of the game.

Curtis will ride the unbeaten in six straight races on the all weather Mootasadir in the Grade 2 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational Stakes on Friday in a race that the four year old colt trained by Hugo Palmer will be looking to land his first success on turf.

British raiders have had a goo time of things in this race in previous years especially last season when the William Haggas trained Call To Mind landed the spoils.

Curtis has won on the colt before back at Kempton in the Listed Magnolia Stakes before the pairing then finished way behind the superstar Stradivarius when going back to turf in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup at York.

The big attraction for the connections to take their horse over to the US to race will have something to do with the prize money on offer, with the winner on the contest, which at this stage sees nine runners go to post, take home £173,000.

(Credit Racing Post) Curtis said: "I've ridden in the US before at Gulfstream Park many moons ago when I didn't manage a winner, but hopefully Mootasadir can give me a nice spin.

"It looks a competitive race and it's his first time over two miles but he wasn't stopping at Kempton and he may well have found the ground a bit lively at York last time.

"Many of the US horses struggle to stay over these long distances and the plan would be to let him slide along in front."

Curtis mentioned his hectic schedule and added: "I'm riding at Haydock on Thursday and fly out of Manchester to New York on Friday morning. I plan to fly back straight after the race to ride at Haydock on Saturday so I hope I can sleep on the plane!"

Trainer Hugo Palmer trained his horse Wall Of Fire to an eighth placed finish in this exact race two years ago and will hope to fend better this time around.

He said: "Hopefully he can bounce out and get into a rhythm, which was something he was not able to do at York last time. Ben gets on very well with the horse so it made sense to keep the combination intact."