An Interview with Ellis Collier

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here on zoelouisesmithx.com. Today’s post is an exciting one, you may be wondering why I am posting on a Monday evening right? Well as we are one week before Cheltenham, I have decided to bring extra posts to my blog this week and next week, today being the first extra post. Over the next 12 days, I will be bringing you 9 posts in total. There will be one today (Monday), Wednesday, Friday and Sunday this week, then Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday next week. All midweek posts will be live at 6pm and all weekend posts will be live at 11am. I am super excited to get into it!

This evening I bring to you and interview with amateur jockey Ellis Collier who is currently based with Christian Williams. A very interesting interview and I hope you enjoy!

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

Ellis: My favourite race ride would have to be my first race under rules for the boss Christian Williams, who I hadn’t been working with long on a horse called Ishyaboi.

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

Ellis: A horse I’ve always wanted to ride is either Special Tiara or Smad Place, both exuberant jumpers who loved the game. It was a pleasure to watch Noel Fehily ride.

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

Ellis: I think a ban of the whip is a bad idea. Perfect example of this is when Johnny Burke on The Big Bite at Newbury, it could have been a disaster for everyone involved not just Johnny Burke and The Big Bite.

Me: As a jockey, weight is obviously a huge thing for you guys, so what would you eat on a regular day? Are there any periods across the year where you can actually just eat anything or is it a strict kind of diet all year round?

Ellis: I’m quite lucky, on a whole, my weight isn’t too bad. But I still like to eat well with a lot of veg. I try to do a lot of the Joe Wicks exercises off YouTube. I have a guilty pleasure of having an Indian and a beer on Saturday evenings religiously anyway.

Me: Racing is an all year round sport, so when you do get some down time, what do you like to do?

Ellis: Yeah, trying to get a break in the race season is quite hard really, but I’m quite lucky. I try to go away after Sandown when there’s a bit of a break with the lads. I was meant to go away last year on a lads holiday, there were about 20 of us who were meant to go but unfortunately COVID had his own plans and messed that up for the lot of us.

Me: Who do you look up to in the weighing room?

Ellis: People I look up to in the weighing room… It would have to be Adam Wedge. I look up to him quite a lot, we’re quite good friends and he’s helped me a lot. I’d say he’s definitely a big part of my career so far on and off the racecourse. He’s helped me with life in general as well as trying to be a good rider.

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

Ellis: One race I’d love to win would probably be the Welsh National at Chepstow. It’s in Wales obviously, my home country and we used to go there a lot as a family. I’ve had many great days out watching it so it’s something I’d love to win.

Me: What is your favourite racecourse to ride at and why?

Ellis: My favourite track would probably be Exeter’s. A bit of an odd track, but it’s quite a close-knit community there and on a good race day there’s plenty of people there and they all love their racing, so it’s a pleasure to ride around there in front of people like that.

Me: What’s your overall goal in racing over the upcoming few years?

Ellis: My overall goal in racing would be to go out and do my best on everything, that would be more of a daily goal. And I’d like to lose my claim. I know it will be a hard ask but hopefully it can be done and hopefully I’ll do it on one for the boss to repay the thanks.

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

Ellis: My two horses to follow for the season would be Shishkin, he’s been impressive over fences and he’s going to take a lot of beating, if anything can beat him. I also like a hurdle horse for Alan King and the Mcneill family, Tritonic. A very smart flat performer and seems to be going the right way over hurdles, he looks a nice one for the future.

Me: What would be your best advice for young people who have a passion they want to follow, whether that be racing or something else?

Ellis: My advice for a young person starting out would be don’t be scared to ask questions to anyone. It shows you’re willing to learn and everyone is willing to help. It shows you’ve got a good attitude if you’re willing to learn and progress doing the career at an early age. You’re doing the right thing from an early start.


Of course, I want to start by saying thank you to Ellis for taking some time out to answer some questions. Ellis is working within a top yard, in Christian Williams and he s learning from one of the best in Adam Wedge, so for me he has a very promising future ahead of him and I am pretty excited to follow him and watch his progress. I hope you enjoyed this post and I will see you Wednesday evening at 6pm for another post.

An Interview with Tom Garner

Tom Garner

Hiya guys!

Today I am bringing you an interview with Tom Garner who is Oliver Sherwood’s stable jockey. I hope you enjoy!

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

Tom: There’s been a few that meant a lot but probably winning the two Grade 1’s I won last year in Saratoga on Winston C – A horse that I brought from England. It was the first Grade 1’s as a jockey and as a bloodstock agent.

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

Tom: Many Clouds. I rode him a lot at home and would have loved to have ridden him on the track, he’s the best horse I have ever sat on.

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

Tom: I think the public need to be educated more about the stick and how we use it. I agree with the current rules, but if a horse isn’t going to go for one smack, it’s not going to go for multiple. So young lads starting out should be better educated on how to make a horse go without having to resort to the stick.

Me: As a jockey, weight is obviously a huge thing for you guys, so what would you eat on a regular day? Are there any periods across the year where you can actually just eat everything and anything or is it a strict kind of diet all year round?

Tom: I’m lucky that my weight is okay at the moment, but I have been up to over 11 stone when I should be about 10 stone. I find alcohol is the worst for my weight and unfortunately for me, I love beer, but when it comes to eating I don’t watch it too much, just when I need to. I’ve lost over 7 pounds before in 24 hours, which isn’t advisable. But I just do plenty of exercise most days and I ride out and that keeps it level.

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

Tom: Again, the same as the stick. The public need to be better educated before they have opinions. If they saw the way the horses are cared for and the love of the horses from the stable staff who look after them day in, day out then a lot of people would change their minds.

Me: Racing is an all year round sport, so when you do get some down time, what do you like to do?

Tom: It’s hard for me to get away as I ride in England during the winter and America during the summer, but when we have had a few days before, I’ve been skiing with a few other lads or try and get to Dubai to visit friends who are riding out there, otherwise the days I have off I usually go out hunting or shooting.

Me: Who do you look up to in the weighing room?

Tom: Two people I have looked up to have recently retired. They are Noel Fehily and Leighton Aspell, both have helped me massively during my career.

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

Tom: Obviously the Grand National or the Gold Cup. But I have finished 2nd and 3rd in the Pardubice so coming that close has made me want to win it even more.

Me: What’s your overall goal in racing over the upcoming few years?

Tom: I want to be Champion Jockey in America and come back and keep a good relationship with the trainers in England and win as many horses as I can, whilst I can.

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

Tom: England would be a horse of Ben Pauling’s called Your Darling and America would be Winston C. He has a lot more good days ahead of him.

Me: What is your favourite race course to ride at and why?

Tom: I love Sandown. I’ve had a lot of good days with Rayvin Black and I love riding over fences there.

Me: What is your best advice for young people who have a passion they want to follow, whether that be racing or something else?

Tom: Someone said to me when I was starting out ‘work will overcome talent if talent doesn’t work hard’. Just to work as hard as you can and take advice from older lads in the weighing room. The most talented rider isn’t always the best jockey if he or she doesn’t work hard.

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As always, first things first, I want to thank Tom for taking the time to speak with me, I know he is super busy whilst riding in America currently so I appreciate making the time to answer a few questions. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this interview so I hope you guys did too. I will see you all next Saturday at 11am for An Interview with Liam Keniry.