Can a former jockey sing his way to the X Factor final?

  • A former jockey hopes he’ll be singing his way into the X-Factor final tonight (Saturday 1 December).

    After retiring from the saddle Jamie (JJ) Hamblett pursued a singing career — and is now a member of X-Factor boyband Union J.

    Jamie and fellow members Jaymi Hensley and Josh Cuthbert entered the comptition earlier this year as “Triple J”. Fourth member George Shelley was added by the production team and the band was renamed Union J.

    Jamie, who lives in Newmarket, rode 24 winners in his four year career as a Flat jockey.

    He was apprentice for Sir Michael Stoute, and although he hasn’t ridden in any races since 2009, he’s continued to ride out regularly for John Gosden.

    Four acts remain in the show at the semi-final stage — Union J, Jahmene Douglas, James Arthur and Christopher Maloney.

    Union J are currently the outsiders to win the competition — but bands have done well in X-Factor in the past. Little Mix won last year and other big names to have come through the show include JLS and One Direction. Will Union J be the next big thing?

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