horse racing

Zander Voy’s Blog: Birthdays, The Perth Festival & End of the season…

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 23 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 22nd April

As this is the final week of the 2012/2013 jumps season it is also my 31st and final blog. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing my column every week for Narrowing The Field and I hope you have also enjoyed reading them. Racing wise last week was very quiet but looking at the week ahead I am expecting to be riding up at Perth on Wednesday and then Wetherby later on in the week. It’s very hard at the minute as spare rides are difficult to come by as the fields are getting smaller and smaller as the ground quickens. It is birthdays galore this week, my mother’s on Wednesday and mine on Thursday, so after riding out in the morning I went over to Darlington to go and get her a nice present. In my opinion, the best present she ever got for her birthday was 23 years ago when I came along the day after, arriving fashionably late is something that has stuck with me since then! 

Tuesday 23rd April

My first port of call this morning was Mark Johnston’s. I rode out four lots in there before heading over to Patrick Holmes for a fifth lot of the day. Declarations came out this morning for the first day of the Perth Festival which kicks off tomorrow. I was pleased to hear from my agent Paul Brierley letting me know I have been booked on three, all trained by Lucy Normile. I decided it would be best to load the car up and head up tonight with Kelly to my mums house in Haddington which would mean I could ride out tomorrow morning for Lucy (Normile). 

Wednesday 24th April

I didn’t have to be into Lucy’s yard which is an hour away until 9am, as I had a light-ish weight I decided to get up at 6am and have an a quick sweat in the bath to drop the final pound or two. We done a good bit of schooling in at Lucy’s and everything jumped well. Perth racecourse is only just up the road so I was able to a full mornings riding out before going racing. I never had any luck at all at the races. Saying that though, I was pleased with the way Lord Redsgirth travelled and jumped, he’s just not a three miler and would be suited with a drop in trip and some headgear applied to help him concentrate. Today was my mum’s birthday and mine is tomorrow so we decided to have a joint birthday meal at the Longniddry Inn on the way home from racing, 22 of us turned up in the end and we had a good old time of it! 

Thursday 25th April

My Birthday!! Birthdays in racing yards are days where you have to be on your toes. The lads are quite handy at doing things like spraying the inside of your riding out hat with purple spray, leaving a horrendous thick purple line across your forehead when you take your hat off. Something that has happened to me in the past and would never want it to happen again, it takes forever to come off and you don’t half get some funny looks from the people outside of racing. Thankfully I managed to get through this morning without any pranks from the lads; sigh of relief! We didn’t get home last night until gone midnight so I decided to treat myself by having an extra couple of hours in bed and going into ride out for second lot on-wards rather than first lot. I only rode out three lots and was done plenty early enough. I had no rides at Perth today but I was booked this morning on Silverton in the first race at Perth tomorrow. I decided yet again to head up this afternoon and stay at the mothers. Michael Butters, who is one of my of good friends from back home suggested that we go to for a Jacuzzi and stream room this evening at his expense as it was my birthday, what a great idea!!! 

Friday 25th April

I went into Lucy Normile’s yard again this morning. I only had a couple of lots to school over a few hurdles and was then on route to the races. Silverton was running in the very first race of the day, the 2 mile novices hurdle, her third ever run over hurdles. She is bred to stay so with no real pace in the race I we decided to make the running on her and go a good gallop. She travelled brilliantly and at times jumped rather spectacular. She ran a very solid race to finish 4th at odds of 50/1. She will now get a handicap mark and as long as the handicapper isn’t too harsh she will hopefully build on her placed efforts and get in the no.1 spot. 

Saturday 26th April

I was hoping to be at Market Rasen today as I had been jocked up on Coffee King all week; he had a minor setback and wasn’t declared which left me with a blank day. I went in to Kelly’s parents Karl and Elaine’s for just a couple of lots so I was home fairly early. I put on all the layers and headed out for a run with the dog before settling down on the sofa to watch all the action. I have been booked on a couple tomorrow at Wetherby so I had an early night! 

Sunday 27th April

Before heading to Wetherby today I went into Mark Johnstons for four lots. I was due Joe Colliver a lift racing so I picked him up after riding out and the pair of us trundled on racing. When we set off we both had two rides but Joe got a phonecall to say on of his wouldn’t be lining up, leaving him with just the one. My first ride was Dicy Vows who is trained by Alan Jarvis and was having his first run over hurdles. He made a bit of a noise when the pace quickened down the back and it got worse the further we went. I pulled him up before three out. My second ride was Dorlesh Way and is trained by Patrick Holmes. I made the running on him and set a fairly steady pace, he jumped super but just got a little tired up the straight and midfield. He will now get a handicap mark and once dropped back in trip can hopefully make his presence felt in his own company.

As the season has now come to an end so has my weekly column. Thank you everyone who has taken the time to read it and I hope you have found it interesting. Also, a massive thank you to Ben who has put it up on his website Narrowing The Field.

All the best – Zander Voy (@Zander_Voy on Twitter)

One response to “Zander Voy’s Blog: Birthdays, The Perth Festival & End of the season…”

  1. Thanks for taking the time to do the blog Zander. I have followed it and enjoyed every week. Best of luck over the summer and I’m sure that your hard work will soon pay off with lots of rides and winners.

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