How did you get into horse racing?
I had a love of horses from a very young age, but primarily show-jumping and hunting. I started riding out point to pointers for our local farrier and he organized for me to go to Jim Bolger’s for a summer. After a few weeks, there I was addicted!
On a typical day, I’ll get up at half 7, have a cup of coffee and head straight into Stacks which is just down the road from me. Usually have 5 lots there, be finished by 1:00 then head over to Fethard and ride work for a few local trainers. On days, there’s no racing I would be home by 5, cook a light dinner and head into the gym around 7. Being quite tall for a jockey I always have to watch my weight so I find keeping to a routine like this makes it much easier.
You have been riding in England a lot last season how was that for you? And do you feel the difference in races over there compare to Ireland?
I enjoyed my spell in England but I found the traveling to be the hardest thing of all. There’s obviously a lot less racing over here but the prize money is far better and if you can get going at all you’re far better off.
What is your advice for a young jockey starting out?
I bought a simulator early this year and I feel it’s brought me on leaps and bounds. If you can get access to one or buy your own they are definitely a huge help to perfect your riding.
Is it getting tougher for young jockeys to get there name out there?
Definitely. Most trainers nowadays have their own jockeys so without backing from a well-known trainer/owner it’s extremely hard to get rides. Besides working hard you need a lot of luck!
Favourite Horse Racing memory
Winning on Fulminata at the Listowel festival for Jim Bolger. Huge crowds there and was a great buzz!
What is your main aim this season?
Have 3 winners for the season so far, if I could finish out with about 10 I’d be delighted. Hopefully go for the apprentice title then next season.
Give us a horse to follow this season
Commander Grigio. He’s a very smart colt and has a brilliant temperament. Definitely one to watch