Jockeys kept an eye on race for Downing St
Sport

Jockeys kept an eye on race for Downing St

THE Tories may have regained power over a fortnight ago, but for us jockeys the lasting impact of the news is huge. 

It’s a well held belief within racing circles that had Labour won, it wouldn’t have been great for the sport.

The party had discussed plans to double the taxes on horse owners, which would have been a real problem as a lot of owners use racing as a source of entertainment for their businesses.  As it currently stands racing isn’t in the best health, it could be better.

Stirring up more controversy is the fact that a lot of the big bookmakers don’t necessarily pay their taxes in Britain. Many are based abroad, in countries like Ireland and India.

With that in mind, a potential Labour win could have shut down the whole shop.

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It shows that there’s so much more going on behind close doors than you’d realise. As a rider you’d like to just come in and ride your horse, but it’s not as simple as that.

I was up in Scotland last week for the two-day festival in Perth. I had two rides up there and came second and third, so I picked up some welcome prize money.

It’s a really nice track, a unique place that’s worth visiting.

Luckily enough, after a week of great mileage, I managed to get a lift up with Paul Maloney and back down with Brian Hughes, so it saved me driving the 800 mile round-trip myself.

This week’s looking a bit more uncertain though; it’s the most painful time of the year.

You’re ringing your agent and asking why you’re not riding, because mentally and financially, whilst you’ve got some days off, you’d rather be riding. At times I might even be employed only three days a week.

On the off days I’m still driving around visiting the different yards trying to line up rides, talking to owners.

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As a freelancer, you’ve got to show your face and do the groundwork - it’s all on you to get on the track.

On a side note, it was great to see Robbie McNamara out and about in Navan over the weekend.

The jockey suffered spinal injuries in a fall last month in Wexford, and still hasn’t yet got full power back in his legs, but he’s had a lot of support on Twitter through his recovery.

He’s a real happy go lucky jockey, a good rider and a great guy, and it’s positive to see him getting back his strength.