AP McCoy – The Greatest of all Time?

Hi Guys!

So as this post goes live, the 11th of October it is actually my Dad’s Birthday. And as my Dad is one of my top supporters and is subscribed to my blog and will receive his weekly email, what better way to honour him and his special day than to do a post all about his favourite ever, all time jockey. Mr Anthony McCoy. I think we can all agree that he broke all sorts of records and will go down in history as one of the greatest. Even if you don’t follow horse racing you know the name AP McCoy. But I thought it would be super interesting to get into the nitty gritty and look at the facts and figures behind the great man and really investigate his career. I love these sorts of posts and find them so interesting to research and write up and the response I had from my followers in regards to my Ryan Moore post were incredible so I will hopefully be making this into a series where I look at jockeys and trainers and really investigate their story and their career.

Disclaimer: The facts, figures and stats are all from different sources online and I have simply compiled them altogether into one post, I have tried to use multiple sources to ensure all facts are as accurate as possible. I apologise if anything is incorrect. Please feel free to tweet me anything that may be incorrect so I can change it. At the time of writing this post 10/10/20 all of the figures are accurate according to my online sources used. So with that being said… Let’s jump right into it.

Sir Anthony Peter McCoy was born on May 4th 1974 in Moneyglass, County Antrim, making him currently 46 years old. He rode his first winner at just 17 years old on March 26th 1992 for Jim Bolger on a horse called Legal Steps at Thurles Racecourse in Ireland. Initially AP was an apprentice for Jim and whilst riding out for him one morning he suffered a really horrible fall and ended up with a broken leg. By the time he recovered he had continued to grow taller and decided at this point that it was best to become a jump jockey.

It was then in 1994 AP moved across the Irish Sea and began riding in England. It didn’t take long for AP to have his first winner on English soil. On September 7th 1994 he won at Exeter for Gordon Edwards on Chickabiddy. In his first full season in the UK he was a conditional jockey for Toby Balding which ended with him winning the Conditional Jump Jockey’s Title in 1995 before becoming the Champion Jockey for the first time in 1996.

After his very successful start in the UK, AP attracted the attention of the leading trainer Martin Pipe and an upcoming current leading trainer Paul Nicholls. In 1997 he joined forces with Martin Pipe which proved to be a very strong partnership which dominated National Hunt Racing.

By the new millennium AP McCoy had set a new National Hunt record for winners in a season with 253, he equalled the record of five winners at the 1998 Cheltenham Festival and he also became the fastest jockey to reach 100 winners in a season in 2001. He went on to beat Gordon Richards record for the total number of winners ridden in a season which was held since 1947. McCoy has always said this is his biggest achievement, despite all of his success after this. On December 11th 1999 AP rode his 1000th winner Majadou at Cheltenham.

He broke the record on Valfonic at Warwick on April 2nd 2002 and then went on to set a new record of 289 winners in a season. On August 27th 2002, he rode Might Montefalco at Uttoxeter to victory which meant he had surpassed Richard Dunwoody’s all time jumps record and became the leading jumps jockey.

AP joined forces with JP McManus in 2004 after reportedly being offered a £1 million a year retainer.

On January 17th 2004 AP rode his 2000th winner Magical Bailiwick at Wincanton. On October 3rd 2006, he then won his 2500th winner Kanpai at Huntingdon. He then reached 3000 winners just 3 years later when winning on Restless D’Artaix for Nicky Henderson on February 9th 2009.

At this point, AP McCoy had won pretty much every race he could win, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Chase, King George VI Chase and so much more, he still hadn’t won the Grand National. He had finished 3rd three times, in 2001 and 2002 on Martin Pipe’s Blowing Wind and in 2005 on Jonjo O’Neill’s joint favourite Clan Royal who was still traveling well until he was hampered by a loose horse. Finally, on his 15th attempt Anthony Peter McCoy won the Grand National on April 10th 2010 on Jonjo O’Neill’s horse Don’t Push It owned by J.P McManus.

After winning the Grand National, AP was named the 2010 BBC Sports Personality of the Year and therefore became the first jockey to win the award.

On November 7th 2013, AP had his 4000th career win on Jonjo O’Neill’s Mountain Tunes at Towcester. On December 16th of the same year AP reached the 150 winners landmark after riding a double at Ffos Las. This was the 18th time out of the 20 season he had been riding in Britain that he surpassed 150 winners. He was then crowned Champion Jockey for the 19th consecutive time, extending his record even further.

The next year on June 10th 2014, AP recorded his fastest ever half century of winners after winning on Bob Keown for Rebecca Curtis at Worcester. He reached 50 winners in just 44 days. That same season on July 19th 2014, AP reached a huge milestone by surpassing 4191 winners which his friend and mentor Martin Pipe achieved before retirement in 2006. He then broke his own record for the fastest century of winners in a season, his 100th winner coming on Arabic History at Newton Abbot on August 21st just 116 days into the season, beating his previous record of 130.

AP McCoy then announced live on Channel 4 that he would be retiring at the end of the 2014-2015 National Hunt Season after winning the Game Spirit Chase on Mr Mole which was his 200th win of the season. His last professional ride would be the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in April 2015.

In the 2016 New Year Honours, Anthony Peter McCoy was knighted for his services to horse racing.

So, onto the important facts and figures.

Firstly, the big wins in AP McCoy’s career. The list is a pretty long one, so bare with me.

Firstly his Cheltenham Festival winners:

  • Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle x 3
  • Arkle Challenge Trophy x 3
  • Byrne Group Plate x 1
  • Cathcart Challenge Cup x 2
  • Champion Bumper x 1
  • Champion Hurdle x 3
  • Cheltenham Gold Cup x 2
  • County Hurdle x 2
  • Festival Trophy Handicap Chase x 1
  • JLT Novices’ Chase x 2
  • Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase x 1
  • Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase x 3
  • Pertemps Final x 1
  • Queen Mother Champion Chase x 1
  • RSA Chase x 1
  • Ryanair Chase x 3
  • Supreme Novices’ Hurdle x 1

Next up is his major nationals:

  • English Grand National x 1
  • Irish Grand National x 1
  • Midlands Grand National x 1
  • Scottish Grand National x 1
  • Welsh Grand National x 1

The list is endless so I haven’t included absolutely every big win AP has won, but there is just a little insight.

Sir Anthony Peter McCoy to this day, holds the record for the most wins with a massive 4358, including 4348 jumps and 10 flat. The closest to him is Richard Johnson, who currently, at the time of writing this has 3745 wins. AP rode 17630 horses to get his 4358 wins meaning he won 24.72% of his rides.

Interestingly, AP McCoy won most of his rides for Jonjo O’Neill with 808. Secondly is Martin Pipe with 694. Thirdly is Nicky Henderson with 197. Again these stats were found only on one source so I’m hoping they are as accurate as possible.

As far as my research took me, I found that AP has also rode a winner at every racecourse in the UK apart from Epsom Downs and Goodwood. Don’t quote me on this as I could only find it on one source!

Now, like with Ryan Moore, I searched high and low to find accurately how much prize money AP McCoy won and after a lot of research I found that he made £39,299,843 in total.

Overall I think everyone knows Sir AP McCoy is one of the best jockeys of all time and certainly the best I have ever seen in my life time. Personally I don’t see someone over taking the records he has set in a very long time – if ever.

Before I finish I wanted to include a photo I have found. AP McCoy basically broke every bone in his body whilst riding and still came through it to continue.

What do you think? Is AP McCoy the best of all time? Also, who else would you like me to research into? Please let me know via Twitter! On another note, I was lucky enough to interview AP McCoy back in March at the Cheltenham Festival and you can read that right here if you haven’t already: https://zoelouisesmithx.com/2020/03/11/an-interview-with-20-time-champion-jockey-ap-mccoy/

This one was a tough one to write up as I have read different figures on different pages so I didn’t know what was 100% accurate, so it took a lot of different sources stating the same things before I wrote it. If anything is incorrect then please do let me know via Twitter.

See you in the next post!

Is Ryan Moore one of the Greatest Flat Jockeys of our Time?

Hi guys!

Today’s post is something a little different to my usual horse racing posts, however I thought it would be an interesting one. On social media Ryan Moore is a highly debated person within racing, some people love him, some people hate him – a little bit like Marmite. So I thought today we would just stay neutral and go through some of the facts and figures of Ryan’s career. I found it very interesting looking through different articles and figures and I though why not share with my audience. So today we will simply look at Ryan Moore as a whole, his life, career and more importantly his stats!

Disclaimer: The facts, figures and stats are all from different sources online and I have simply compiled them altogether into one post, I have tried to use multiple sources to ensure all facts are as accurate as possible. I apologise if anything is incorrect. Please feel free to tweet me anything that may be incorrect so I can change it. At the time of writing this post 27/09/20 all of the figures are accurate according to my online sources used. So with that being said… Let’s jump right into it.

Ryan Lee Moore was born on the 18th of September 1983, making him currently 37 years old. Ryan was born into a horse racing family, his grandad Charlie Moore was a well known trainer, his dad is ex jockey and now trainer Gary Moore, he has two jump jockey brothers Jamie and Joshua and his sister Hayley Moore was a top amateur now TV pundit, so overall I would say Ryan being involved in the sport was just meant to be.

Ryan Moore starting riding horses at just 4 years old, he had lessons at his Grandad’s yard and with a pony club. And when he was 12 years old he led National Hunt jockey AP McCoy over hurdles as they schooled some of Ryan’s fathers horses. Ryan later said he was inspired by his drive and dedication stating:

He wanted to ride everything in the yard. His work ethic was huge.

Ryan didn’t always know he wanted to be a jockey, as he very much enjoyed his football and he did in fact have trials for Brighton and Hove Albion as a youngster. However, being a jockey was the direction Ryan went in and he has not looked back since.

Ryan Moore had his first winner at just 16 years old on a horse called Mersey Beat on the 15th May 2000 at Towcester over hurdles for his dad Gary Moore. At this point his mom actually tried to convince Ryan to stay in school and focus on his A-Levels however after just one month of doing his A-Levels he decided to leave and focus on his riding. Ryan also rode a couple of winners for his grandad before he passed away in 2000.

In 2003 Ryan became the British Flat Racing Champion Apprentice before winning his first group race in 2004 on the 29th of August when he won the Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood, followed by a Group 2 in the September in the Mill Reef Stakes on Galleota for Richard Hannon.

In 2006 Ryan then rode his first Group 1 winner in the Juddmonte International at York on Notnowcato for Sir Michael Stoute, this was the year he then first became the British Flat Racing Champion Jockey.

The following year, in 2007, Ryan rode Notnowcato to victory in the Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland and then in the Eclipse. During 2007 Ryan rode more winners for Sir Michael Stoute (47 out of his 126) over his then mentor Richard Hannon (33 out of his 126). However Ryan spent 3 months injured so he never retained his jockey championship, instead finishing 3rd. At the end of 2007 Ryan was then offered the position of stable jockey for Sir Michael Stoute.

In 2008 Ryan retained the jockey’s championship and kept it in 2009 also. Over the course of 2009 and 2010 Ryan travelled the world riding in the big races. He won the Breeders Cup, then he won the Derby on Workforce – in a record time – and the Oaks on consecutive days. He then won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Workforce. He later broke his wrist costing him the chance of another jockey championship. However most involved with the sport were already calling him an ‘all-time great’ including former jockey Willie Carson who said he could be as good as Lester Piggott.

In 2011 Ryan’s vision changed. Instead of wanting to retain his jockey championship he wanted to concentrate on fewer bigger races instead so he could focus on his family. At this time he started riding for many celebrity owners including Michael Owen, Paul Scholes, Ashley Cold and Sir Alex Ferguson. He also rode Carlton House to victory in the Dante Stakes at York and 3rd in the Epsom Derby for the Queen. He then finished 2011 by winning on Snow Fairy in a Japanese Grade 1.

It was around November 2011 when rumours starting circulating that Ryan Moore was being lined up to join Aidan O’Brien as his stable jockey. However Ryan didn’t want to move his family from England to Ireland so it was instead agreed that Ryan would stay in England and ride for Aidan O’Brien in Ireland at major meetings. Following this decision, in 2012 Ryan won the 1,000 Guineas on Homecoming Queen and the 2013 Derby on Ruler Of The World for Aidan O’Brien.

In 2015, Joseph O’Brien who was the Ballydoyle number 1 jockey ahead of Ryan was struggling to make the weight to ride in major races, so therefore in the April it was confirmed that Ryan would now ride all the number one horses in Classics and any other major races. By the end of 2017 Ryan had won over 2000 races in Britain.

Now lets talk statistics, races and records.

Firstly, Ryan’s major wins in the 20 years he has been riding. He has won the 2,000 Guineas twice (2015 & 2017), the 1,000 Guineas four times (2012, 2015, 2016 & 2020), the Epsom Derby twice (2010 & 2013), the Epsom Oaks three times (2010, 2016 & 2020), the St Leger Stakes twice (2017 & 2018), the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes twice (2009 & 2016), the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe twice (2010 & 2016), the Japan Cup once (2013), the Melbourne Cup once (2014) and the Breeders Cup Turf four times (2008, 2009, 2013 & 2015).

At the point of me writing this (27th of September) Ryan has had 2701 winners, including 136 Groups 1’s, 118 Group 2’s, 165 Group 3’s and 170 listed races. He has also placed in 4042 races, including 229 Group 1’s, 173 Group 2’s, 233 Group 3’s and 248 listed races. These are out of 15553 starts, 890 Group 1’s, 643 Group 2’s, 849 Group 3’s and 896 listed races.

So let’s put all of those figures into perspective. Essentially Ryan has won 15.28% of the 890 Group One races he’s started in and he has placed in 25.73% of those 890 starts. Overall meaning he has at least placed or won 41.01% of the 890 Group One races he has started in. So looking at his figures as a whole, Ryan has won 17.37% of the 15553 starts he has had in his career, he has placed in 25.99% of those 15553 starts meaning overall, in the whole of his career he has won or placed in 43.36% of the 15553 starts he has had.

I have searched high and low for an accurate figure of how much Ryan Moore has won in prize money from the beginning of his career until now and the most highly shared is that of $282,026,720 which with today’s exchange rate is the equivalent to £221,284,228.09 over a 20 year period.

Another interesting thing I have found is the winners Ryan has had per trainer he has rode for. Ryan Moore has rode in 2637 races and won 572 of those and placed in 773 for Sir Michael Stoute. Of which 21 were Group One’s, 37 Groups Two’s, 60 Group Three’s and 45 Listed Races. Winning $40,825,902 / £32,032,880.47 in prize money.

In second place is Richard Hannon, where Ryan has rode in 2202 races for Richard Hannon where has won 306 and placed in 528. Of which, only one was a Group One, 7 Group Two’s, 8 Group Three’s and 16 Listed Races. In total he has won $8,472,916 / £6,648,032.06 in prize money for Richard Hannon.

Then comes in Aidan O’Brien in third place, where Ryan has rode in 1186 races and won 271 and placed in 343. However interestingly, maybe, probably predictably, Ryan has won the most amount of money for Aidan totalling $97,425,309 / £76,441,992.09 with a total of 83 Group One wins for Aidan O’Brien, 44 Group Two wins, 53 Group Three wins and 39 Listed Races.

Another interesting set of stats is the Group One races Ryan has won around the world. So number one on the list is Great Britain where he has won 58 Group One’s, Ireland is next with 21, followed closely by France with 18. Next up is USA with 13, Japan with 8, Hong Kong with 6, Canada with 4, UAE with 3, Australia (Victoria) also with 3, Germany and Italy both with 1 and then the three places he has rode in but hasn’t won a Group One is Australia (New South Wales) where he has placed once in seven Group One’s, Singapore where he has placed once in two Group One’s and South Africa where he placed in the one Group One he has had there.

Something I found interesting and wanted to just add in was the horses Ryan has had the most wins on. First up on the list is Galeota who Ryan rode 18 times, won 8 times and placed twice. Secondly is Mostarsil who Ryan rode 21 times, won 8 times and placed twice. Third is Order Of St George who Ryan rode 12 times, won 7 times and placed 3 times.

Following on from that I do want to look at his wins as a percentage. First in that order is Crystal Ocean who Ryan rode 7 times and won 6 times (85.71%) and placed once. Next is Minding who Ryan rode 9 times and won 7 times (77.78%) and placed twice. And third is Envision who Ryan Rode 9 times and won 6 times (66.67%) and placed one.

I have tried to keep this post as neutral as I possibly can using statistics alone to show who Ryan Moore is and how his facts and figures line up. However now I will give a little bit of my opinion and I would love to hear yours over on social media! I think the stats don’t lie, Ryan Moore is a brilliant jockey. I think over the years his priorities have changed – as they would with anyone – due to his children growing up and him wanting to focus on them, however his work ethic is still one of the top in the game. He rides winners for fun and has done for many years and I know many people say “it’s because of the horses he rides” but you can say that about anyone. It isn’t Ryan’s fault that he is given a leg up on some of the best horses around. Apart from the fact Ryan loses whenever I bet on him or put him in my pick 7, I can’t fault him. He is a brilliant jockey, who sometimes gets into a bad position that he can’t get out of – which jockey doesn’t though? Ryan may not be a people person and we all know that from when he’s been interviewed over the years, but there is no doubt about it he is very much a horse person and I love watching him.

Today’s post was a little different for me but I thoroughly enjoyed doing the research into this and I really hope my audience enjoy it. I have a few posts lined up over the next few weeks including more of my Horse Racing History series as well as more posts similar to this where we break down the facts and figures for different jockey’s, flat and National Hunt as well as a stable visit to one of the best National Hunt trainers in the country and a point to point yard where horses are broken in for some of the biggest trainers around so we can have an in depth look at how that is done, which I am super excited for. You can now subscribe to my page to ensure you receive an email every time I post, to do this simple press the ‘Follow zoelouisesmithx.com’ button on the right hand sidebar to this post.

See you all very soon in my next post!

An Interview with 20 Time Champion Jockey AP McCoy

AP McCoy (1)

Hey guys!

Today I am ecstatic to bring to you one of the biggest interviews I have done to date. The legend that is AP McCoy. In my time AP is the best jockey I have witnessed, he is also a brilliant ambassador for the sport and an all round gentleman and for a while now we have been talking and discussing a potential date for when we could get together for an interview and yesterday on the first day of Cheltenham that finally happened! AP has been super supportive of the work I’m doing to reach out and introduce the sport to more people as well as showing people the behind the scenes and the things you may not get to see as a racing fan, which I have found super interesting, so to have the support from someone such as AP is huge for me and genuinely means a lot. I am so thankful to AP for taking some time out of his ridiculously busy day to have a chat with me. I really hope you enjoy!

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Me: When I interviewed Richard Johnson he said he missed you in the dressing room as a friend more than anything, what do you miss the most about Richard?

AP: I miss him torturing me every day to try and make myself better. We actually… even though we were competing against each other every day we were the best of friends. Obviously we were in the weighing room together every day together and we were the very few people in their every single day. Erm, since I’ve retired I’ve been really pleased he’s managed to win the last 4 jockey championships. He’s a great credit to himself and a great credit to the sport. Yeah I really miss competing against him because he always brought out the best in me.

Me: If you could ride one horse that is currently in training, what horse would you choose?

AP: Erm, I think I’d probably like to ride Tiger Roll going into a third Grand National because you know it’s a brilliant story him going on to try and win a third Grand National. Hopefully everything will go okay before then. But yeah, I’d probably say he’s a bit of a people’s horse, he’s a bit of a celebrity in his own rights so he’s probably the one.

Me: Onto the Grand National, do you think the weights have hindered or helped anyone in particular and do you think Tiger Roll can go on to win it?

AP: You know, it’s gonna be a tough task for him but I think he deserves the weight. And what I think and what a lot of bookmakers think is he’s gonna win. He’s a pretty outright favourite in my opinion and seemingly in everyone else’s opinion too.

Me: What would you say to anyone who thinks horse racing is animal cruelty?

AP: Erm, I never feel like I have to justify this sport to anyone. I think if a few of these protesters outside the Grand National at Aintree and you brought them a horse that was running in the Grand National and tell them to take them home and to look after them, I’d love to see what the reaction is. I don’t have to justify my love for the horses or my care I have for these horses to anyone, especially not someone who has no interest in the actual animal themselves and actually loving the animal and caring for the animal and doing what we do. So I think we spend too much time justifying ourselves to people like that.

Me: Obviously you suffered a lot of injuries during your career, just how important are the Injured Jockey’s Fund?

AP: Yeah the Injured Jockey’s Fund are hugely important, we’re very lucky to have such an organisation for current and past jockeys. It’s something that not every sport has and I think it makes me very proud of horse racing to have such an organisation.

Me: How important was Dave Roberts to your career as a friend and an agent?

AP: Dave Roberts was someone I spoke to every day for twenty odd years, he guided me in the right direction and gave me great advice. He has unbelievable knowledge of the sport and had as much of an obsession in winning as I had and I definitely wouldn’t have won or been half as successful without him.

Me: Do you see any young jockey’s now that could go on to break your record?

AP: I think records always get broken and mine are no different. There are certain things that I think will be obviously harder than others, you know I think in 2002 January to January for 7 years I rode for Martin Pipe who was numerically dominant, I don’t know if jockey’s now will ever be lucky enough to have that support from someone who is as numerically dominant as Martin Pipe was. So to ride 207 winners is something I think will be hard for another jockey to do in a calendar year. I broke Gordon Richard’s record in 2002 for 289 winners in a season and again, that would be tough. I think you need a little bit of luck to stay in one piece to win 20 consecutive jockey Championships so you know, they will need a little luck but it can be done.

Me: As an Irish man, do you ever regret not riding in Ireland more?

AP: No, look I, obviously being from Ireland I left there when I was 20. I spent four and a half years riding for Jim Bolger and that was the making of me. Would I have liked to ride in Ireland more? Yeah, I loved my time in Ireland. But I got into the position in this country where I as champion jockey for a period of time and that became my obsession maintaining that level and that’s why I spent as much time riding here as I did in my career.

Me: Onto the final question, what is your best piece of advice to a young person wanting to follow their dreams?

AP: I’m not from a racing family, you know I have 4 sisters and 1 brother who have never ridden horses in their life so it can happen. And as John Magnier said with Aidan O’Brien it’s hard work and it’s available to anyone you know, if you work hard enough then who know’s what could happen.

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Firstly, again I just want to say a massive thank you to AP for taking time out of his day to speak with me. He was truly a gentleman and I appreciate it so much. Personally I think he is a brilliant ambassador for our sport, not only is he the best jockey I have witnessed in my life time, he is also someone with extensive knowledge in every area of the sport and he is also someone who will make time for anyone, take as many photos that are requested by racing fans, talk to everyone, shake hands with everyone, just all round a brilliant guy.

I am of course ridiculously grateful to be given the opportunity to interview AP and I really hope you have all enjoyed this post!

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An Interview with Jonjo O’Neill Jr

JonJo

Hi guys!

Today I am very excited to bring to you an interview with a brilliant up and coming young jockey, Jonjo O’Neill Jr. Jonjo has rode some incredible horses in some incredible races and he is only just getting started, I was lucky enough to interview Jonjo and really get an insight into to him and his career.

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Me: What is your favourite race of your career, win or lose?

Jonjo: Favourite race, I would say has to be the Martin Pipe Conditional Race at Cheltenham last year. It was my first festival winner and you know, you never forget your first.

Me: If you could ride any horse that you never have, past or present, what horse would you choose?

Jonjo: I suppose Kauto Star probably in his prime, he is the best horse in the modern era.

Me: What are your opinions surrounding the discussions of banning the whip?

Jonjo: Regarding the whip, erm it’s an absolute necessity for a jockey to have a whip. For safety and for encouragement. The whips nowadays are so well padded, they don’t hurt whatsoever, they just make a sound. So yeah, it’s vital for a jockey to carry a whip with them.

Me: JP McManus is obviously a huge name in racing, what is it like riding for him as an owner?

Jonjo: Yes, I feel very lucky to ride for JP, on a relatively regular basis. I have had quite a bit of luck for them in the past couple of seasons and hopefully that can continue. Obviously it’s the most recognised colours in England, Ireland and France probably. He’s great for the sport and got loads of nice horses and it’s great when we have winners for them as they’ve been great supporters of ours and he’s a gentleman.

Me: No pressure, but when I asked Richard Johnson his bet of the season, he said Lostintranslation to win the Betfair Chase, which of course he did, so what is your bet of the season?

Jonjo: Tiger Roll to win the Cross Country Chase would be my bet of the season.

Me: What would you say to anyone who thinks racing is animal cruelty?

Jonjo: Racing is not cruel, you know, it’s been a sport in this country for centuries. The Queen is involved and has loads of horses. So many influential people. It is not a cruel sport. These horses have been bred for hundreds of years to do this sport. You know, you got horses like Tiger Roll winning two Grand Nationals and going for his third Grand National, you can’t say he doesn’t like racing.

Me: Obviously AP McCoy has regularly played a huge part in the Jackdaws team – How important has it been to your career having someone as good as him to idolise and look up to?

Jonjo: Yeah AP is definitely someone I have looked up to when I was a kid watching racing and he was riding for Dad and JP. We are very lucky to be able to ask advice from him and you know, he is very good like that and he is obviously a top class sportsman and you can only learn from him.

Me: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given by your dad?

Jonjo: Best advice would probably be, be good to everyone you meet on the way up because you’ll meet them all again on the way down.

Me: You have rode Native River to win the Denman Chase, my all time favourite horse, how was that for you? How special of a horse is he? What do you think his chances are in the Gold Cup this year? And with a lot of people speculating, do you ever, personally, see him being a National horse?

Jonjo: Yeah, Native River, he was absolutely deadly last weekend. It doesn’t look like he’s lost any sparkle, he won nicely and jumped great. If the ground came up soft in the Gold Cup, he isn’t without a shout, it’s a very open Gold Cup. Whether I think he’d suit a National? He’d definitely suit the National. Whether he goes for it this year or maybe more next year, he looks to be well weighted this year. He got compressed two pounds. You know, it looks like it would suit him down to the ground, but when it’s an open Gold Cup you’d have to chance your arm in the Gold Cup as well.

Me: What is one race you’d love to win?

Jonjo: It would be between the National and the Gold Cup. But I would love to win the Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is usually the best horse in the season, it’s the most prestigious race of the season.

Me: What would be your ‘horse to watch’ for the next season or two?

Jonjo: Erm, Soaring Glory, he’s won two bumpers and will probably go to Aintree. He’s a very nice horse and hopefully he’ll have more of a future over hurdles next season.

Me: You’re still so young and have already achieved some incredible things, what is your best advice for young people who have a passion they want to follow, whether that be racing or something else?

Jonjo: Just take every little bit of advice and help from everyone that has experienced the game. You can never stop learning in racing and you know, it’s full of ups and downs. And you just have to stay grounded, because there are some serious highs and some serious lows as well, so I think just literally take every bit of advice from everyone as it can help all the way down the line.

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Firstly I want to say a massive thank you to Jonjo for taking time out of his day to allow me to interview him. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to interview Jonjo and I hope you have all enjoyed reading it!

See you all very soon for my next post!

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