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!
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.