My Race Days

  • Oct
  • 26
  • 2012

Harry Turner takes a jump, BoB, Filming, Prizemoney and Essex Boys

It hasn’t been a great month for me rides and winners wise, but hopefully things will start picking up shortly. As ever I’m doing plenty of schooling and riding out at Nigel Twiston-Davies’, Charlie Mann’s, Ben Case’s, Colin Tizzard’s and I was even down in Newmarket last week to school for Lucy Wadham, Sarah Humphries and Amy Weaver. Amy usually trains Flat horses but she recently acquired three jumpers from leading jumps owner Malcom Denmark. Hayley (Harry) Turner is a good friend of Amy’s and asked if she could give a safe one a pop so she met us on the schooling ground as well. So we mounted up and went to show the horses the first jump. Harry is asking me if the length she was riding was ok and I said “drop them down about 10 holes” because “if you ride long you live long.” She just dropped them a couple and went on to give me a lead over the hurdles. Her horse, Brave, jumped well and to be fair she looked the part. When we pulled up after jumping four fences, she had a serious smile on her face. See, we do it every day and it’s more a job to us, but as it was a novelty to her she really enjoyed it. So we went down again and this time we went a little bit quicker and sat upsides. When we pulled up I said she should definitely give the Flat jockeys jump race at Lingfield a go next month, to which she replied that she was not waiting until then and that she was going to get a jump jockey’s licence out! Give us a chance Harry...

As you know my LOVETHERACES Blog is now up on the ATTHERACES website as well, so at Worcester last week I was asked to do an interview with Robert Cooper so the ATR viewers knew what it was about. As you probably have gathered over the years of reading this blog I don’t like to call people by their proper names. For example Dominic Elsworth’s real name is actually “Duminick” Elsworth and I can tell you that he loves being called it! So at the end of my interview I say “thanks BOB” to Robert, leading to him nearly killing me off air! Have a look at it and listen to the end bit...

After schooling a few at Ben Case’s last Monday, I came back home to Lambourn to do a bit of filming for Channel 4’s The Morning Line. Roger Curtis asked me, Hadden Frost and Felix De Giles a few weeks earlier if we would help out. We had to put all our racing gear on with colours and ride three horses up to Lambourn’s main schooling ground. Luckily for us we were not doing this until everyone in the village was having there afternoon sleep, so we weren’t going to get laughed at. We got up there at about 1.30 and did not leave for two hours, and I can tell you it did not stop raining in that time. The first hour was bearable but the second hour it had got into our skin and it was very cold. When we first got up there Hadden Da Brightspark said “Jesus you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else”, to which we replied that we would rather be sat by a warm fire. The production crew had their camera set up just to the side of the fence, and we had to come up and jump the fence as if it was in a race, as they wanted to capture it all in a race situation. They needed it from a load of different angles so it took a long time and in the end we must have jumped about 50 fences. I was lucky I was on a horse called Romney Marsh who I actually won on last time out and is a good jumper but poor Felix was on a big horse who liked to clout the odd fence. Have a look at this video and listen to what I say to Felix after jumping the first fence. In the end the crew got what they needed and it will be shown at the start of the Channel 4 racing and Morning Line in the New Year when the new team take over. Despite not admitting it, I’d say even Numb Hadden wished he was in beside the fire!

Three Amigos

Richard Hughes had some day last Monday at Windsor. He rode seven out of eight winners, nearly going through the entire card. His one mount that got beaten was third and went down by only two lengths. He had a non-runner in one of his races and as he had a chance of going through the card Ryan Moore said he was feeling unwell (which he wasn’t) and offered his mount, which was favourite, to Hughesy. This says an awful lot about Ryan who gets a lot of stick in the press for being a bit miserable. I’ve met him a few times and I can definitely say he is not that. I think what he did on Monday says what a top bloke he is and I do hope the press relent on him. A few of us were discussing this afterwards and we were saying if it happened over jumps, would we get off a fancied one to which there was a few very funny answers! So fair dues to Hughesy, he wrapped up a brilliant season where he nearly went through the card and in doing so also wrapped up the Championship for this year’s Flat season. But Monday told us what a top guy Ryan is… which brings me on to prize money. If you thought to yourself that you rode seven winners, you would think you would be picking up £5-10k for your prize money but in fact Hughesy picked up just over £1,500 in winnings. Prize money at the minute really isn’t great. Hughesy’s eight riding fees that day would be worth nearly what he had got in winners prize money. On Champions Day at Ascot there was serious prize money and people who just watch racing on a Saturday would be saying what is everyone going on out about, but mid-week racing is a different story all together. Is it any wonder there are less owners in racing nowadays? They pay for a horse, which can cost from £2k to half a million, and for it to be trained is probably another £20k a year and then you are racing for £2k a race! Something needs to be done, or we will be in danger of losing more owners, jockeys and trainers.

Jockeys are made of some gritty stuff. Everyone looking in from the outside would say AP McCoy is the hardest man in the weighing room and that may be true. However, there are many other hard nuts in the weighing room that don’t get the air time AP does, so their hardness does not get heard of. Noel Fehily rode for three weeks with a broken wrist before finally having to concede to an operation a couple of seasons ago surviving by chewing on pain killers between races. I think if you look in most jockeys wash bags you will find a whole host of painkillers, as during most of the season every jockey will be carrying some sort of injury. I myself have broken most bones in my body and keep coming back for more but one time I came back from a dislocated elbow and broken right forearm after an operation in just two and a half weeks. Nowadays though, I would have to have given it a minimum of six weeks. After a fall if we are okay, we will always say to the Doctor on course that we are fine as we don’t want to miss anything in the coming days.

Will Kennedy is a man worth following on Twitter. He will tell you what he had for breakfast! Recently he turned 31 and decided to have an early mid-life crisis. McCoy used to be his idol, and he used to have the same haircut as him but since his recent birthday his new idol is his 18-year-old nephew Jamie Insole. Yes, his sister’s son is his new idol!!!!  I’ve met Jamie a few times and he is a real Essex Boy with the top button always done up, chinos and a side parting in his hair, and yes this is now Will’s new look! I used to take the mickey out of him for copying AP, but copying his nephew is taking it to another level. Most people look up too people but now Will is looking down to his nephew!!! During a recent round of golf with Will he duly posed for a picture showing us his new look. His new favourite program he tells me is The Only Way is Essex and after me googling the program I reckon this Joey Essex guy is where Jamie and Will are getting their look from. I did see Joey Essex on Celebrity Juice not long ago and I really do hope it is just his clothing image that Will is trying to copy. If it's his intellect, there is going to be problems because if brains were chocolate, Joey wouldn't have enough to cover a malteaser.. 

No Likey No Lighty for Da Essex Boy William

Finally I saw this picture the other day and if I was a horse I would be thinking the same.


About David

Hay, I'm David or Dave Crosse and I'm a professional Jumps jockey, sponsored by Mapstone Development Group, originally from near Cashel, Co Tipperary. I am now based and have been for the last 14 years in Lambourn in Berkshire - the home of Jumps racing.

Racing has been going well for me this season and I hope to make a big impact this spring when the proper jumps racing gets going. I've been through the mill with injuries down the years but nothing that has ever stopped me getting back in the saddle. I've probably broken bones in places people didn't even realise they had bones.

I'm going to take you through what I get up too on and off the track, and try give you an insight of a jockey's life and the craic we have 24/7.

Being a Jumps jockey is a dangerous game but to me its the best game in the world. I look forward to sharing the craic we have in the weighting room with the Lovetheraces and Attheraces readers. It a side of the sport that very few people see so its going to be pretty special.

So here we go...

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