I had a nice little break with my wife last week but now it’s back to work, defending my jockeys’ championship title. With more evening meetings now it makes it a bit more difficult to see as much of the family as I would like. Nevertheless my general routine is quite similar to the rest of the year. I ride out in the morning two or three times a week. Before going to the races there’s always plenty to do at home and on the farm, and if the kids are around that’s great, and there are never enough hours in the day.
There is also a fair amount of preparation I do for each race I ride in. The Racing Post is essential for that. I study the form, not only of my horse but also the other runners in the race. I try to get an idea of how much pace there might be in the race and what my tactics should be. A lot of the horses I see quite regularly anyway, and so you have to make the most of that knowledge. Then of course there are the instructions from the trainer just before the race. Hopefully we will come to the same conclusion but sometimes he will want to try some different tactics.
Race riding itself is the best way of keeping fit, but I also have my own exercise programme every day which I carry out at home. In addition I have a very good physiotherapist who I see once a month. With her guidance we decide whether to keep the same exercise regime or make a few changes. It’s all necessary to help me keep ahead of my younger weighing room rivals!