Me, Myself and Horseracing…
Before I start I would just like to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about me.
I am a 22 year old conditional jockey living in Middleham (North Yorkshire). I’m originally from a small town called Haddington which is only a stone’s throw away from Edinburgh. Horseracing is my passion and I consider myself very fortunate to make a living from a sport I love.
I hope my weekly column can be of interest and give you an insight if my day to day life, on and off the course! No doubt there will be a few laughs along the way…..
Monday 21st January
I was supposed to be in at Mark Johnston’s this morning for four lots. However, there was about a foot of snow on the ground and I had no chance whatsoever in getting there so I had to knock that one on the head! It is absolutely driving me mental this weather!! This week has started the same way last week finished, with even more abandonment’s. Wetherby and Leicester were both forced to abandon their meetings tomorrow and unfortunately it is looking very touch and go for the rest of the week as well. By the time lunchtime came round the snow plough had been and roads were passable, I had to be over at our house in Catterick to let in the electricians to finish of one or two bits and bobs. We were also supposed to be getting sky installed this afternoon but the sky engineer went to the wrong house then left a voice-mail on my phone saying I would have to re book another appointment. He admitted to being at the wrong address and although he was only a couple of miles down the road he still refused to come back, I was far from impressed. They are supposed to be coming back on Friday now, let’s hope they can find us second time round, can’t be doing not having Racing Uk or At the races…although there’s not much happening on either channel at the minute!
Tuesday 22nd January
I managed to make it into Mark Johnston’s this morning although it did take me half an hour to make the 3 mile trip. I had 4 lots which took me up and till lunchtime then headed straight back to Spigot Lodge and packed the majority of my clothes to take over to our house in Catterick. I thought the painting and building flat-packs were hard work and time consuming but quickly realized they were a doddle compared to shifting Kelly’s mountain of clothes and shoes, how one person can have so many items of clothing is beyond me! Our decorator hadn’t been able to get us because of the roads the past few days but he managed to get over tonight thankfully to finish of the last couple of walls. It’s taking a bit of shape now and looking like we will move in on Thursday…excited!!
I was chatting to Mark Boylan on Facebook last night and he informed me that the song he has written in memory of Campbell Gillies will be released on iTunes this Friday. All the money made in downloads goes straight to the Injured Jockeys Fund so please please PLEASE get on and download it. He is hoping to perform the song live on Gold Cup day at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, a fitting tribute to such a wonderful person and talented jockey. I can’t wait to hear it, there won’t be a dry eye in the house.
Wednesday 23rd January
I had no rides up at Ayr today so it was just another morning spent riding out. The track up in Ayr was unraceable early doors and failed its first inspection. It also failed it’s second inspection and everyone was beginning to fear the worst, but credit where it’s due by the time the third inspection came around they had enough of a thaw for the ground to be safe and racing got the green light! Just goes to show, you can always rely on Scottish Racing to get the show on the road!! I just want to get the ball rolling again now and try find some more winners, the past week or two has been a complete no show for everyone.
We managed to get a little more done than expected yesterday with the house and moved in officially today. I have stayed with Kelly’s parents Karl and Elaine for the best part of a year now and have been very well looked after indeed which I am extremely grateful for, only downside is we have a mortgage to pay now though, so no doubt Kelly will have me on lockdown for the foreseeable future.
Thursday 24th January
When I was riding out this morning a got a message from Mark Boylan saying the song he has written – “A Song For Campbell” – was now available to buy on iTunes. I was pleasantly surprised as I originally thought it wouldn’t be ready until tomorrow. As I was busy getting through my lots I had to wait till I got home before I could crack on and get it downloaded. I’m not going to lie; when I heard it for the very first time I wept like a little girl, it is beautifully written and sung. Mark has put a massive amount of time and effort into writing this song and is very selflessly donating all the money made form downloads to the injured jockeys’ fund. If you haven’t already please please PLEASE download it, you won’t be disappointed. I would just like to say a big thank you to Mark for this, it really does mean a lot to everyone!! I even have it as my ringtone now!! I couldn’t help myself tonight watching Film4’s 9 o’clock movie…Braveheart, films don’t get any better than that and no matter how many times I have seen it before it seems to get better every time!
Friday 25th January
Declarations came out this morning for the weekend and I was gutted to see Rhyme Royal had missed the cut in one of the races at Wolverhampton, I was really looking forward to playing flat jockey for the day and having a spin around there. I only had time for three lots this morning as I had to be home to wait on the sky coming for the second time this week, thankfully though he came to the correct address and fitted it without any complications…happy days!! Cheltenham announced today that they are holding a 7am inspection tomorrow, I’m not riding there but with the likes of Imperial Commander making his return from quite some time off the track and the super Sprinter Sacre out once again I really hope it’s on, can’t beat a bit of Chanel 4 racing on a Saturday afternoon…fingers crossed!!
Saturday 26th January
I only just got to work this morning and no more, we had another five or six inches of the dreaded white stuff fall through the night. I went into Karl and Elaine Burkes for four lots, I was supposed to go into Andrew Crooks afterwards for another couple of lots but Andy’s daughter Amy told me not to bother because of the weather. I couldn’t get home quick enough as Cheltenham had passed this morning’s inspection and there card was most definitely not to be missed. He (Sprinter Sacre) didn’t disappoint and looks as close to a certainty as you can get for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the festival!! The festival is only around the corner now and won’t be long in coming around, best week of the year!
Sunday 27th January
I was back into Mark Johnston’s for four lots this morning. It has been another weeks racing lost to the weather, but if the weather forecast is anything to go by then we should be ok from next week. The meetings lost this week may possibly be a blessing in disguise as it has gave me the time to get all my stuff together and get moved in to our house, it hasn’t done the bank balance any favours mind you!! This afternoon we went to “look” at a litter of puppies, in other words we went to “pick” a puppy. I believe in the saying “a home is not a home, without a dog” and you know yourself looking at a litter of adorable little pups makes you want one straight away. We got a little Patterdale Terrier and named her Darcy, Let the carnage begin!!
See you all next week and all comments very much appreciated 🙂
All the best – Zander Voy (@Zander_Voy on Twitter)