The Jockey's Journal: Dougie Costello on why he won't get home for Christmas
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The Jockey's Journal: Dougie Costello on why he won't get home for Christmas

I was really hoping this year that I could get back this year for Christmas, but I can’t, which means I’ve only been home once for one in the last nine years.

As my Irish compatriots will know full well, when you go home you’ve got about 15 different houses to visit and the same number of cups of tea to drink in the same day.

All well and good, but as a professional sportsman you have to be wary of what you consume and also how many miles you’re clocking up with all the running about.

I was genuinely hoping for three quiet days back home before Christmas to see some new family members and of course my mother, but my wife has deadlines with work and she has to stick to them.

With my line of work, it’s kind of easier to plan now that I’m on the Flats – I’m ahead of myself by 48 hrs so I always know where I’m going to be, which isn’t always the case in racing.

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Like last Saturday, for example, I knew I wasn’t going to be riding on the Sunday and Monday. So, if my wife hadn’t been working, we could have shot off somewhere for a quick break, but it wasn’t doable.

The thing about racing is, when you eventually do get a break, you feel as though you have to get away to somewhere warm, so it’s actually hard for me to get home at any point in the year.

I’ve spoken to a few of the other Irish lads on the Flats and they all find it difficult to time a trip back home, but you’ve got to put your profession first. Maybe I’ll work something out to get back in February or March.