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.
Go Racing in Yorkshire’s sponsored apprentice, Kieran Schofield, updates us with life on the yard.
Although I’ve been ticking over on the all weather, the start of the turf season is fast approaching which I’m really looking forward to. We were all gutted to see Definitly Red brought down in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham – he was jumping nicely at the time and everyone in the yard shared the disappointment with Mr and Mrs Martin, the owners.
We have been busy with the two-year-olds, there are about 30 this year and I have sat on most of them as they have been broken in. I think they are all lovely and I can’t wait to see them in action. The next step is to put them through the stalls so they are prepared and ready for racing.
I have been working on my own preparation and have started to attend the jockeys Pilates course at Jack Berry House. I have regular physio on my back but after the first Pilates session I felt a lot looser and it will definitely help me in the long run.
I have continued going to Jack Berry House and recently took part in the Jockey Physical Profile Clinic. It started with a body composition session with the nutritionist measuring height, weight and body fat before moving on to a physio stage which was a muscular skeletal screening. This looked at stability, joint motion and control, particularly in the shoulder, hip and neck area.
The final phase was a fitness test focusing on lower limb strength and power, upper limb strength, core strength and aerobic fitness.
About 24 jockeys took part and the data will be used for research and development to build a physical profile of a jockey athlete and identify areas that can help improve race-riding performance. This will then be compared with other sports too.
Jack Berry House is such a fantastic facility that is so beneficial to all of us and I am regular at the gym. The clinic identified that I have good lower limb power and strength, along with excellent upper limb strength, mainly due to me actively playing other sports, I love football and we have a regular five a side match with my weighing room colleagues. Danny, the Strength and Conditioning coach has put a programme together for me to help maintain my strength and work on my aerobic fitness, all in time for the turf season ahead.