Every Monday our columnist @Roryfitz15 will be giving an Irish jockey the chance to dish the dirt on their fellow weighing room colleagues. In this new addition to the site that we are calling Turf Talk.
Jockeys will be asked a series of informative and light-hearted questions, to give fans a deeper and an amusing insight into some of their favourite racing stars here in Ireland.
The first to take the tell all test is recent Grade 1 winning jockey J.J. Slevin
Q: Most naturally gifted?
A: Ruby Walsh – he’s got everything and is brilliant to watch. He has gifts that most of us don’t have.
Q: Most stylish?
A: Keith Donoghue – moulds himself into a horse beautifully and is lovely to watch over an obstacle. You can tell he has spent plenty of time with Paul Carberry
A: Mark Walsh – there’s no flaws with him and conducts himself well on and off the racecourse. He always gets it right.
Q: Most intelligent?
A: The Mullins boys Patrick, Danny and David are extremely clued in. They know there form inside out and also the rule book. It’s one of them I’d go to if I needed a bit of help with a stewards inquiry. That happens a bit too often for my liking
Q: Most underrated?
A: Barry Cash – A brilliant man to educate a young horse. Has a fine record in cross country races too. He’s in the game a long time but I’d love to use him if I was a trainer. He might actually be still riding by the time I’m ready to turn my hand to training.
A: Sean Flanagan – not in so much a comedian but has a great outlook on life and always looks on the bright side. A fella I always like to chat to as he’s great for a story and treats everyone the same. His talents on a horse speak for themselves and he’s a genuine good fella.
A: The Kennedy’s- Paddy and Jack, there from Kerry and they mind the pennies, so the pounds will look after themselves. It’s paid off for them and they have done well for themselves.
Q: Worst dress sense?
A: Shane Shortall – We could be here for a while, where to begin; he could arrive at the races in all kinds of fashionable gear and he really stands out- also he doesn’t like being approached about it.
Q: Worst taste in music?
A: I have no Radio in my car so I’m usually delighted to listen to any kind of music if I’m lucky enough to get a lift off someone.
Q: Biggest moaner?
A: Ian McCarthy – he might help us get better facilities in the weighing room, in fairness he’s a good man to spot something wrong and lets us all know about.
Q: Worst singer?
A: Most of them that can’t sing thankfully keep there mouths shut but Jody McGarvey is well able to string a tune together and is always good value on a morning riding out too plus he always sings a decent tune. He also plays the guitar.
Q: Worst dancer?
A: I’ve never been to a nightclub so I can’t answer that one.
Q: Future Star?
A: Evan Daly who works with Joseph (O’Brien) has just started jumping, he’s ridden 4 winners on the flat and has ridden one over hurdles too. He’s just 17, his head is in the right place so he could be the man for the job.