Hi, I’m Nick and I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences of the National Hunt season with you.
As a freelance professional jockey, I ride for several trainers, but mainly for Jeremy Scott, Kim Bailey and Paul Nicholls.
I’m 24, based in Somerset, and have ridden since I was a child. I started off in show ring and went to Horse of the Year Show and the Royal International with Chiddock Over The Limit (picture right) when I was 15.
Some of my fellow jockeys do give me some stick about showing, but it was good experience. Competing at HOYS forces you to handle pressure and riding a lot of different ponies helps to you learn how to gauge a horse’s ability. I also did some showjumping — which taught me to see a stride — but I always wanted to be jockey.
Jump racing is at its quietest at the moment. After September things start to get busier. But I’ve had a couple of winners this week — Moorlands Jack for Jeremy Scott and Joe The Rogue for Paul Henderson — which is a nice boost at this time of year.
Where I ride out depends where racing is on and I’ve been at Jeremy, Paul and Kim’s yards recently. I also rode out for Harry Fry the other day upsides his sister, eventer and fellow H&H blogger, Rosie.
There aren’t really any major targets for me this year — I just hope to stay injury free and hope to get on the right horses on the right days!
It would be nice to get a big festival winner though. Last season was my best yet, finishing 9th in the jockey’s table.
Melodic Rendezvous (pictured above right) is a horse I’m really looking forward to riding this year — he progressed brilliantly throughout the last season and proved himself to be capable in the top races. Plus, I had my first grade one win on him, so that was special.
It was unfortunate that he got a virus, but these things happen and he’s back from it now. I rode him out the other day and he’s come out big and strong after some time off and is looking really good — he has huge potential.
Molly’s A Diva is also one to watch out for. She proved herself to be one of the top mares last year and she’s a tough, gutsy horse.
Some of the trainers have been having their owners’ days recently. It’s always good to have the chance to see find out what plans they have for their horses for the coming year. Plus you get to meet the owners and chat to people, which is harder to do over the winter when everyone is busy.
Paul Nicholls’ had his the other weekend and he has some good, fresh horses to go to war with this season. And it was great to see Big Buck’s, who was off injured last season, he looked really well.
There’s a break in the National Hunt calendar now so we have a bit of time off. I look forward to blogging again soon,