It’s been a while since my last update. The amount of racing over the summer months is quite relentless and I have been all over the county and country in search of rides and winners.
I’m currently without a car which means that if I can’t get a lift with one of the other jockeys I have to go by train which can be expensive and restrictive in terms of when I can travel. Nevertheless I hope to be back on the road very soon and this should make the hardest part of the job slightly easier.
I was beginning to wonder when my next winner would come along. I have been getting close but finally at Redcar on the second day of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Summer Festival I won the apprentice race on Donnachies Girl for Alastair Whillans.
This race was part of the Go Racing In Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Series and the win puts me back in front with 36 points. Hopefully I can stay at the top of the table as I would love to be the first jockey to win this two-years in a row.
My grandparents had come to Redcar to watch me ride so it was great have a winner. In fact I’ve had a winner every time they have come to the races so perhaps I need to persuade them to come along more often!
I didn’t have to wait long for the next win which came at Ayr the next day on Burn Some Dust for my boss Brian Ellison. This was a very significant win as it was my 20th which means my claim is reduced to 5lbs, so it was great to get it for the home team.
Away from the racecourse I was able to enjoy a day at Malton Show recently. I took my whippet Nell who did very well in the dog show and even won the ‘best six legs’ class, but I have to admit that the other two legs belonged to my girlfriend Keeley!
My sponsorship with Go Racing in Yorkshire seems to be involving me in a few things, not just riding the horses! Earlier this month (May) I went to help the team with a litter pick around Langton Wold Gallops in Malton. This was part of Racing Together’s Community Engagement Day, which provides racing with an opportunity to engage with the local area.
After morning stables, I headed back up to the gallops (I’d already had five lots so I’m quite familiar with them!), donned my high-vis tabard and joined the others, made up of staff from Wetherby and Catterick Racecourses, William Hill, Adele Mulrennan and Julie Camacho.
I could only do a short stint as I had to get back for evening stables, but it is great to see how racing can work with the local community and make a positive impact.
Racing is a real community, made up of lots of people and horses that tie us all together. We try to support each other on a daily basis and have organisations like the Professional Jockeys Association and Racing Welfare who can help us if we need it. The industry has really embraced the recent mental health awareness week and it is useful to know that there is someone to talk to if we need to, or we think our friends need to. Sometimes it’s just a case of having a change and I know that lots of the staff at Brian’s are looking forward to the forthcoming rounders matches organised by Racing Welfare. I’ll try and get along if I’m not racing, although football is more my sport!
The day after the litter pick, I was evening racing at Ripon. The racecourse had linked up with several of the Yorkshire courses to promote racing in Yorkshire and I won the Go Racing in Yorkshire sponsored race on Canford Bay. It was a great result for all of us!
I’ve been getting around the country riding, from Newbury to Ayr. The travelling is the most tiring part of the job but you have to go where you can for rides. I need two more winners before my claim is reduced to 5lbs which will be a real milestone and I’ll keep travelling to get there.
With the flat season now in full swing, Go Racing in Yorkshire’s sponsored apprentice Kieran Schofield gives us an insight into his racing world.
I’m getting very busy with racing now, although my ride on Tonquin Valley at Beverley’s opening meeting didn’t last too long. He veered erratically left on leaving the stalls and we parted company and I hit the turf. Fortunately one of the stall handlers caught him and after a quick check over by the doctor I was able to canter him up the track. He’s entered again at Pontefract next week so hopefully will be a bit happier for the racecourse experience. On the plus side it means that statistically I’m not due another fall for 30 rides, however it did seem to bring me some luck as my next ride at Ripon the following day was a winner!
I rode Canford Bay for Antony Brittain in the Go Racing in Yorkshire Future Stars Apprentice Race and we won by a length. I knew that if he could bring his all-weather form to the turf he would have a good chance so was delighted to have my first winner of the year. I won the whole series last year and I’m back at the top of the table alongside Cameron Noble after two rounds. My aim for the season is to be the first jockey to have back to back wins in the series.
Three days later I was back in the winners’ enclosure, this time for my boss, Brian Ellison, at Southwell on Ticks The Boxes.
The horses in the yard are in good form and running well at the moment with winners under both codes. We recently had a new salt room installed, which blows salt in the air of one of the stables with a fan. It’s the same principle as a salt room at a spa and helps with the horses’ respiratory systems.
I have got a lot of rides coming up, about twice as many as I did this time last year and I think a couple of early wins helps with my profile and I’m grateful to the boss and Mr Brittain for using me. I’m due to ride both winners again over the next week and I’m hopeful of big runs from them both. I’m hoping to visit lots of Yorkshire tracks in the next week with provisional rides at Doncaster, Wetherby, Thirsk and Pontefract.
The Friday night football has about come to an end as everyone who plays is very busy riding, particularly with evening meetings kicking in next week. I’m still getting up to Jack Berry House when I can, but my daily exercise tends to come from taking my five-month-old Blue Whippet, Nell, for walks.