MY main aim at the moment is to forge a link with a successful yard. That is what I want to do and I feel that I’m at a stage in my career when I will do my best work especially if I was attached to the right place with a decent trainer in charge.
I’ve gained experience throughout the past decade, but I really feel that I can make an impact especially if I was working for the same yard. If I could do that for the next five or six years I think I could do very well.
These can be tough weeks for a jump jockey because in many ways I could make a better living of the flat. I’ve proven that I can win as a flat jockey before and the travel isn’t as much of a factor in that area.
When I did stints on the flat before I was making good money from it. The drives weren’t too bad; most racecourses were within a three hour drive of where I live so that was hugely beneficial. Of course on the flat you also aren’t as susceptible to injury.
I still have that drive to be a jump jockey, but regarding the flat it is something I want to explore further down the line. I’m still young enough and I want to get attached to a yard. At the moment that is what I’m trying to do.
The travelling in racing can be severe and I’m in constant contact with my agent Dave Roberts, who is very good. He is now known as a super agent and his relationship with AP McCoy was brilliant for them both.
Dave has devoted his whole life to racing and I talk to him maybe three times and a week and we would be in contact by text message everyday nearly. He is really good, but like any jockey you always want to make sure you’re in his thoughts.
I probably have one fault in that I when I’m asked to ride I rarely say no. I never want to miss out on anything. Even though I regularly say to him that I don’t want to do stupid miles I inevitably take a booking and sometimes I mightn’t even make that much money. There are days when you’re just about breaking even, but you do it because it might lead to something else in the long run. That is what you do it for.
Last week I did close to 2,000 miles for three rides. It could add up to £300 in petrol money, but you do it because you always have a bit of hope that something might happen for you, like the winner Chalk It Down I rode for the trainer Warren Greatrex, a horse owned by JP McManus.
That type of a success keeps you going and makes you hungry for more. It is why you try to take as many worthwhile bookings as you can. Flat jockeys regularly do two meetings in the one day – that is just the way it is. Jockeys are used to dashing between courses, but on a Bank Holiday Weekend that can be a real challenge.
You get used to being stuck in traffic on a Bank Holiday weekend when it is so much worse. On a normal weekend there usually isn’t too many problems if you are out and about early on a Saturday. A lot of lads from Ireland struggle to deal with the travel and distances involved in the United Kingdom, but when you start picking up a few winners the journeys never seem as bad on the way home.