So tomorrow we are off to Newcastle Races. Which is a first for me in many aspects. It’s the first time I’ve ever been to a race meeting for a social day out as I’m normally on the other side of the fence. It is also the first time I will have been to Newcastle Races as well. As I never rode there when I was racing. Most of the trainers I rode for were down south or in the midlands. So I didn’t venture up to the north too much. I am going with quite a few other people, so it will be nice to spend time with friends.
I’m not so sure how I’ll feel from the racing point of view. As I do miss it alot and I think I’ll wish I was racing and not watching. Any kind of sport or hobby your involved in it’s never as much fun watching, because you know you could be doing it so it’s more annoying than anything else! But hopefully I will still enjoy the day and maybe see some familiar faces. It will be nice if I’m able to catch up with a few old friends whilst I’m there especially those that I haven’t seen for a good while now, such as the brilliant jockey, and a great friend, Silvestre de Souza and my old boss, David Nicholls, who’ll have a few runners on the day and for who I rode quite a few winners for back in the day.
It’s also going to be odd for me to dress up to go to the races… I’m not even sure what your meant to wear! I’m not sure turning up in my usual riding out attire will suffice so I’ll have to look for an alternative option… maybe a nice formal dress! Coat as standard of course as its guaranteed to rain, it is England after all!
I last race rode back in January 2013 which seems an absolute age ago now, but I remember it like it was just yesterday, when I had two rides at Lingfield and I went there knowing I’d be telling my sponsors and agent that that was it… talk about nerves!
Of course, level of nerves when I used to race depends on lots of things of course. When I first started I was always nervous as it’s all new. Then as you progress it’s more when they’re favourites or short prices as people then expect them to win. So more pressure on you as the jockey to get it right. In racing you’ve got to be fit at all time and light enough to do the weights on as many of the horses as you can. I am 5’4 and pretty petite, so I didnt have to struggle to much. But now I’m that bit older I have to workout and eat well to stay in shape. For eventing, which is my new passion, it is psychically challenging so I still need to stay very fit and healthy for that.
I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to ride in the odd charity race or maybe even over the jumps one day soon. I love the eventing now and that keeps me entertained, as well as keeping my adrenaline junkie-side happy!
Looking forward to my day at the races.