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Jockeys suffering “burn out”

The chief medical officer of the Jockey Club warns jockeys to pace their workloads better during the season

Jockeys are being urged to organise their workloads to avoid having to travel long distances between races in any one day.

The warning comes after 2000 champion jockey, Kevin Darley, decided to give up a lucrative contract to ride in Hong Kong so that he could “recharge his batteries”.

Chief medical officer of the Jockey Club, Dr Michael Turner, says jockeys are getting tired out because they are accepting so many different rides in different places in one day.

“If they were airline pilots, they wouldn’t be allowed to work that hard,” hesaid.

“As jockeys, they are their own masters, but they need to start thinking about themselves. There no way this can be regulated, but they need to pace themselves.

“Travelling is the killer. There should be some way of arranging ridesso that jockeys who are at a particular racecourse can take them rather than bring in someone else who is riding elsewhere that day – particularly if it’s not a big race.

“One occasional day doing that is OK, but not day after day which is what some jockeys do.

“Jockeys are unique among sportsmen in that they rarely know what they are doing from one day to the next. We need to educate them – and trainers and owners – to work out a strategy to cut down on travelling. And they should think about taking a day off every week or fortnight. They need to think long-term.”

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