horse racing

Zander Voy’s Blog: Parking Tickets, Wedding Celebrations & New Motor!

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 15th April

There is only a couple of weeks remaining in the jump season and things are getting much quieter by the week. Hopefully, with a bit of luck I can nick myself a winner before the curtain comes down on what has been a very stop start season. This week features the Scottish National meeting at Ayr this weekend. Last year I was lucky enough to win a valuable handicap hurdle on Micro Mission on the Friday and then finish 6th on Garleton the following day in the Scottish National itself. Both horses I no longer ride so it’s very unlikely I’ll be biding to do a repeat this time round. I will be busy riding out etc…, but looking at the entries I’m expecting the week ahead to be quiet enough as far as race riding is concerned. Today I was up and on the road at 5:30am to go into Mark Johnston’s for first lot. I rode out four lots at Mr Johnston’s before heading over to Patrick Holmes yard to ride out a lot for him as well. As it was a lovely sunny day I decided to get the layers on and head out for a run in the afternoon to make the most of the sunshine….God knows how long it will be around for?!!

Tuesday 16th April

Today started out fairly normal with me heading out to ride out my usual four lots. After riding out I gave Gary Thomson a ring, he is a jockeys agent cum car salesman to see if he had a nice set of wheels that I may be interested in. I’ve probably needed a new car for a while now but I decided the time has come and I thought today was as good as any and decided to do something about it. I test drove an Insignia elite and decided almost instantly that I was having it. Half an hour later the forms were signed and the deal was done. All being well I pick it up on Friday…Happy Days!! I’ll be looking after the pennies big time from now on. I normally go and play football with the lads on a Tuesday night but as Arsenal were playing Everton, and being an Arsenal fan, I opted out and stayed in to watch the match and support the gunners!!

Wednesday 17th April

Apart from my usual riding out routine I didn’t particularly have a great deal going on. I was in at Mark Johnston’s all morning which took me until about 12 o’clock. In the afternoon, Gary Thompson rang to ask if I could head over to the garage in Teeside to complete some of the paperwork for the car to speed things up a bit for when I collect the keys on Friday. I’m obviously mad keen to get the car so I was over there in a flash! When I came back from there I got straight into the running gear, stuck a lead on the dog and went off running in and around Catterick. It is the first time I have taken her out for a run and she soon regretted setting off like Usain Bolt as by the time we finished she was absolutely knackered, we never heard a peep from her all evening!!  Even though there isn’t much racing at the minute I will keep up with running just to stay fit and light.

Thursday 18th April

I was suppose to be going into Patrick Holmes yard this morning to ride work on a couple of fillies and school one or two of his jumpers. That plan was knocked clean on the head when I woke to a text from Mr Holmes saying the winds were too strong to do either so to come in another day instead. Rather than take the day off I decided to go into Karl and Elaine Burkes for a few lots. I had nothing at all planned for the afternoon other than watching Cheltenham so when Nathan Moscrop rang me asking if I would go to Darlington with him I was more than happy to go. After trekking around for an hour and a half we came back to Nathans car which had a lovely big parking charge on it. He wasn’t as fortunate as me as his charge was issued by the council so he had no other option than to pay. He must be rolling in it because he seemed to find it very amusing, not half as amusing as I did though!!

AP McCoy took a very awkward, nasty fall today at Cheltenham, he was conscious and able to move all his limbs but was taken to hospital on suspected chest injuries, fingers crossed he will be OK and it’s only precautionary.

Friday 19th April

I was picking up my new car today but not until the early afternoon so I went in and rode out three lots at Karl and Elaine’s again. I have been like an excited little kid a Christmas the past few days waiting on today coming around. After riding out I was showered and changed in a matter of minutes before heading over to Teeside to pick up the new motor! After filling out a million and one pieces of paperwork I was finally in the driver seat, and if I’m being totally honest I thought I was the dogs bollocks in it when I was driving home.

In the evening I went along to Harrogate to celebrate John Winston and Zoe Murphy’s wedding. As I was booked in to ride out first lot at 6am tomorrow I decided not to drink and opted to take the car and only stay an hour or so to be back nice and early, come 10:30 I was already tucked up in bed.

Saturday 20th April

I had no rides this time round up at the Scottish National meeting so I had to settle with watching it from the sofa. Before that though, I rode out four lots at Mark Johnston’s then went into Patrick Holmes yard to give Pirates Chest a pop over a few hurdles in preparation for his run at Wetherby next week. Having won on Garleton many times in the past I was rooting for him in the big race of the day, I have a big soft spot for him and I would love to see him win a big race before he retires, he certainly deserves to win a race on terrestrial T.V. Unfortunately, he didn’t reproduce his 2012 Scottish National run when I was 6th on him, he pulled up this time round.

Sunday 21st April

I rode out four lots again this morning, I went into Mark Johnston’s for first lot which is 8 o’clock on a Sunday. Things have been very quiet for me this week but looking forward to week ahead the entries suggest that I should be a little bit busier. As next week is the last week in the jumps season it will be my final blog. Let’s hope I can get a winner to write about!!

See you all next week and all comments very much appreciated 🙂

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

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