Name – Paul Brierley
Occupation – Jockey Agent (BB Jockey Management)
Years involved in racing – As an owner from 1997
First horseracing memory – Sedgefield races with my Dad in the late 70s when Ridley Lamb, Nigel Tinkler and Chris Grant were riding, with the legend Arthur Stephenson training the winners.
What first stirred your interest in horseracing?
My Dad took me along and I was hooked straight away.
What was your first job in the horseracing world?
Racing Secretary for Lucy Normile.
How did you become involved in the jockey management side of horseracing?
I was asked by the late Campbell Gillies to be his agent in October 2011 and it has snowballed since then, I now have 21 jockeys on my books.
Career to date…
Proudest moment of career to date?
It has to be seeing Campbell and Brindisi Breeze winning at Cheltenham.
Which race involving one of your jockeys stands out in your memory and why?
Outlaw Tom winning at Hexham in November, my first winner as an agent but even more special as I run the partnership that owns Tom.
Which race involving one of your jockeys do you wish you could relive and run again (good or bad)?
It was a run of the mill race, but Ormus falling at the last at Sedgefield when coming to win, Chris and Julie Wilson train and own him and it would have meant a lot to them if Campbell had rode them a winner.
In the jockey management chair…
Most enjoyable aspect of being a jockey’s agent?
Having winners, no bigger buzz.
How much ‘homework’ do you undertake before booking rides?
I check all horses’ lifetime form, looking to see if they would have an edge in the race, also checking to see if any of the lads have had any connection to the horse, trainer or even owners.
How much ‘homework’ do you undertake after a race involving one of your jockeys?
Every race is recorded; I watch 95% of the races live. I call every jockey after a day’s racing to chat about the races.
What is the toughest part of your job?
The weather!!! It has been a tough summer and all the jockeys have lost a small fortune due to meetings being called off. In our industry a loss of a day’s racing will mean a loss of wages.
How do you handle a jockey who is going through a purple patch?
The same as any other day. Keep them focused, talk to them about rides, no reason to change the way we approach things.
How do you help a jockey deal with a losing run?
Exactly the same as a purple patch.
How do you see BB Jockey Management progressing in the coming months/years?
The company has grown and we are established now. I had to prove to people it could be done and the fact I have 21 jockeys proves that it is working. I hope to expand onto the flat, but that might be the second phase of the business.
Which jockey do you wish you had been given the opportunity to manage?
Which horse do you wish you could book one of your jockeys for?
Which other sport would you like to take on the management/agent role in?
Which sportsperson (past) would you like to have had on your books?
Which sportsperson (present) would you like to have on your books?
Racing and the general public…
In your opinion what could be done to attract new fans to the sport?
We must offer a good package to the punters, entrance fees and food/drinks can be overpriced, especially during the week at smaller tracks, they need to attract people with good deals.
Do you think Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, etc…) has had a positive impact on racing and how else do you think it could be used to further promote the sport?
Well I tweet and have a facebook account and it seems to be good. The world and his dog is into social media so the free exposure should be grabbed by the industry to promote itself.
Improving the sport…
What one thing would you like to see implemented to improve horse racing –
a) on-course? It has to be prize money, it’s shocking, there are no excuses for pathetic first place prize-money, eg £1.600 for winning.
b) off-course? The industry needs to be united, we have far too many “In house” squabbles and if we all pulled together it would be a better sport.
Jockeys, Trainers and Horses to follow…
Which (Pro) jockey currently on your books should we look out for in 2012/13?
Ewan Whillans deserves great credit, he works very hard and he is very underrated.
Which (Conditional) jockey currently on your books should we look out for in 2012/13?
I have 10 so I must not upset any of them, Alex Voy, Stephen Mulqueen, Adam Nicol and Steven Fox have started the season well, but the other boys will be biting at their ankles.
Which National Hunt horse are you looking forward to following in the 2012/13 season?
Name a dark horse to follow for the 2012/13 NH season?
Dotties Dillema (Lucinda Russell)
Name an up and coming trainer to keep an eye on?
Lucinda Russell is established but will be a big gun in the north, Philip Kirby is one who could be one to watch, he does very well with what he has and deserves a nice horse or two.
Paul Nicholls or Nicky Henderson?
A P McCoy or Ruby Walsh?
A P McCoy
Perth in the summertime or Cheltenham in the wintertime?
Cheltenham, Perth has had no summer!!!
Which do you prefer – Feet up or too busy to stop?
Just for fun…
If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?
Invisible, because every time go racing all I get asked for is tips!!!
Paul Brierley set up the BB Jockey Management Agency with his partner Samantha Burns in October 2011. They are primarily based in the North of England and Scotland and currently have 21 jockeys on their books, a number that is growing all the time.
Amongst the jockeys currently on Paul’s books are Ewan Whillans, Jan Faltejsek, Alistair Findlay, Barry Keniry and Michael McAlister as well as a selection of promising condition jockeys including Grant Cockburn, Steven Fox, Craig Gallagher and Nathan Moscrop.
Paul was also the jockey agent to the late, and greatly talented, Campbell Gillies.
If you want to know more about Paul and BB Jockey Management then please visit – www.bbjockeymanagement.com
Many thanks to Paul for taking part in this NTF Q&A session and lets hope there will be more Cheltenham Festival success for one of his jockeys to follow on from Campbell’s superb victory aboard Brindisi Breeze last March.