My Race Days
Women, Hitting da Net, Gypsies, My song and a Legend
A hectic few weeks has passed. I'm delighted to say, I've been very busy racing for this time of year and it's interrupting my golf so long may it continue. Since my last blog I've had a nice winner for Peter Bowen at Southwell on Cardigan Island who I've now won a couple on. Always nice to be riding winners for Big Trainers, as you are then always in the hope of getting a few spare rides from them. At the end of that week we had a few days off so I headed home to Ireland to see "Da Mrs". On the Saturday night we went to the Coolmore BBQ, where I got to catch up with faces that I hadn't seen in years. There was some spread of food put on, and they also had a very good band playing. With free food and drink let's just say we had a great night! On the Sunday I did something that I get to do about once every ten years or so. Yes I stayed in bed until 6 in the evening and then went for a nice swim; the batteries were glowing after that! So on my last day I got up nice and early to go for a run, I was told to turn right out the gate and take the first three left turns and that it was about 3 miles! Two and half hours later I got back and was very lame, I won't be listening to certain people again! After all my good work on the Sunday the batteries now need to be replaced again. WOMEN....
An early flight the next day took me back to England where I played in a Charity Golf Day for The IJF in Breen which was handy as it was on my way to Newton Abbot for racing that evening. I had one ride, with a small chance if the blinkers worked! Let's just say they didn't, he jumped very badly and I eventually pulled up. Wednesday took me too Worcester for one and again we had a little chance. Cherokee Star was fighting out the lead 3 out when he broke down and had to be pulled up. Sadly he will now be out for a year but will hopefully be back. Not a great start to the week.
Thursday I had a couple of rides at Fontwell in the evening and as I had to be 10st5lbs a good gym session was called for, so I hit Oaksey House in Lambourn. We are blessed to have such a facility so close to home. After a good workout I went home to have another half hour sweat in the bath. Weight was now in check so I headed for Fontwell and I had two rides with two good chances. It's Ruby was my first ride and she ran a nice race to finish 3rd on ground that was too soft for her. I then had to wait until the last race for my final ride of the day on Romney Marsh and it was worth the wait. She was very tough in the conditions and won a half a length! Another on the board. G-String
It was an early start on the Friday morning. TopCat Tommy Carberry had sorted a day out for us at Royal Ascot. We met in our local pub The Malt Shovel at 9 in the morning. Myself, Mark Grant and Ger Tumelty pulled up in the car park to which Mark says "Take a deep breath boys; it’s going to be a long day ". We had our first drink shortly after with our lovely breakfast, and the craic was flowing straight away. There was 8 of us in total heading down for the day, Myself, Ger, Paul O’Neill, Grantie, Tommy, Donie Fahy, Sonny Carey and Aidan Coleman.
We all just went in suits but as Sonny had come over from Ireland and did not know the craic, we had all told him that he had to wear top hat and tails. Let’s just say he was calling us some names but to be fair he looked very smart. A big thing about Ascot is the picnics before and after the races, so upon arrival we did a few rounds of the car boots. We then headed in for the races and set up camp at The Owners and Trainer bar for the day. It’s always a good spot as you get to meet many people who are coming and going throughout the day. The Champagne was flowing through the day, but I stuck to my usual drink of Fosters. I’m not one for the fancy stuff!
After racing we set off back to Lambourn where there was a disco on in The Malt. It was quite there until we arrived and, as we were all in good form; we started dancing straight away and everyone joined in. It was a long day and an even longer night but by far the best day out we have had so far this year as the craic was 90 from start to finish. As I’m 29 now and ageing very badly I made sure I had the next day booked off to recover. I was awoken at 9 where the lads came up to me in my bedroom. Sonny had just written a poem about our little trip to Ascot, it took him 10 minutes to write and was about 2 minutes long to sing it. I did video it but I wouldn’t be appropriate to put it up on here but I have another one for you a bit later. Let’s just say Sonny is a very gifted man to be able to put these together in such little time and has the voice to go with it... G-String
That evening i attended a party for my good friend Eimear "Mary" Chance. She had been working for Windsor Racecourse for the last few years but has left that job to go working in the Big Smoke so threw a party to celebrate. Typical of Mary, it was a fancy dress party and the theme was "Big Fat Gypsy Wedding”. I have to say all the Gurls made a great effort dressing and spray tanning up. I went for the wellies and cap look but i was out done by Dougie Costellow who had a bit of bailing twine as a belt. As I was thinking I was King of the Gypsies- Paddy Doherty, I got a pic with all the Gurls. I left early as I was racing the next day but the reports back to me tell me The Gypsies had a great night.
It was back to work on Sunday for me where I had two rides. My first mount was The Grifter for John and Roxy Ryall. I set out to make the running and jumped the first fence well and on approach to the 2nd he slipped into the fence and very sadly broke his leg and still managed to get over the fence. A brave horse! I pulled straight up and luckily no one crashed into the back of us. This is one of those things that sadly happen every now and again in racing but it does not make it any easier for all connected, take it from me. I had a bit of a wait for my next ride so I had a bit of time to gather my thoughts. My last ride was for Nigel Twisten-Davies. He had been second in his two previous runs but had not been getting home so we tried a new tactic, and instead of making the running we dropped him in. Unfortunately he did not enjoy this whatsoever and tailed off. Not a good days racing.
A day I always look forward to is Charlie Manns Charity Golf Day, and this took place at Calcot Park in Reading on Monday. Charlie always holds it in honour of a jockey that had been injured the previous season. This year it was done for Roddie Green and Phil Kinsella who have both had to retire through injury. The weather was B-E-A utiful and we all teed off at 9 o clock to a shot gun start. I was playing some of my best ever golf and shot just 4 over for the front 9 and that was with two bogies and a double bogey. Sadly after 13 holes Ii had to depart as I had a flight to catch back to Ireland to ride at Kilbeggin that evening. As I’m mad passionate about the golf, it killed me to walk away when I was playing so well. Not happy but it’s all about riding winners for me and we had a very good chance that evening so no way I would be missing my flight. Sonny Carey picked me up in Dublin and drove me to Kilbeggin. I had a quick walk around the course when I got there and was very happy with the conditions. Mr Benedictine was my mount and he had won his 2 previous races and my trainer Brendan Duke told me that he was in even better form and despite going up 21pounds for his 2 wins, he bolted up again. His jumping was superb and he travelled very, very well. Galway is now going to be the next stop in The Galway Hurdle. He will be coming back in trip and will have a stone more to carry but he is such a good traveller he should be ok. So bring it on!
My parents never come over to see me ride in England as they are too tight to pay for flights! Let’s just say the apple never falls far from the tree, but they made it up to Kilbeggin the last two times the horse has run and it was great for me to have them there. As there were no owners there on Monday evening Brendan invited them into the winners circle along with my girlfriend Rebecca and a good friend of mine Nicklos Maher.
After racing I took them all out for dinner including my driver for the day Sonny and we went to the nearby town of Tullamore. I was telling them all evening that Sonny had made a song up about me and that it was class but they had to wait until after dinner to hear it. I was going to video it so I could show everyone, and as I had put that much pressure on Sonny it took two takes, so here it is ...Enjoy...
Yesterday morning I made my travels back to Heathrow, as I was racing at Newton Abbot last night. Around 9 o clock I’d seen the news on Twitter about Campbell Gillies a fellow Jockey. Jesus, I thought to myself this cannot be true, but after a few more minutes it was becoming obvious it was, I felt as sick as a parrot. Campbell was only 21 and today in fact he would have turned 22. I could not believe it. In the weighroom we are like a big family and every one of us are like brothers. We all know the dangers of our game and that just knits us all together. So for us to lose a member of our family in such tragic circumstances is devastating. Campbell was one of the nicest people you would meet and a true Scotsman, as was shown at the Lesters every year where he always supported a Kilt. At the races last night everyone was quite quiet with a few of the lads telling some funny stories about him. We also held a minutes silence for him. A Top, Top Lad who will be greatly missed and there will be a big hole left in our family in the weighroom.
Hay, I'm David or Dave Crosse and I'm a professional Jumps jockey 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 winter when the proper jumps racing starts. 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...
- 10.12.13 Riding The Moose, muckin' about with the Twistons and a goodbye to Charlie Huxley
- 27.11.13 The emotions of racing, Chappers getting the hump and the first ever Fryer Jockey!
- 13.11.13 Taking the falls, my tribute to McCoy and a huge Dingbat Of Da Week
- 28.10.13 Heading to Champions Day, Gavin Sheehan's Mother an Katie Perry
- 10.10.13 A Mattie Batch Classic an Quitting racin over a Female
- 02.09.13 Meeting US stars, causing trouble zip wiring and looking out for Rednecks
- Rachel Reynolds…
- kevin morris…
- chris randall…
- sandeep j…
- Matt ?…
- Craig Ian McAlpine…
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