We asked the good folk on Twitter to fire some questions Hayley’s way, here’s what she had to say:
Many thanks to all of you that sent in questions for my MansionBet blog! I really enjoyed answering them!
@stuartmurphy3 asks: Are there any 2-year olds at any of the yards you ride out that really caught your eye?
I’ve been riding out a lot for Michael Bell and his two-year olds seem to be really nice! I’ve done a bit of work on them but obviously with no confirmed return date for racing, we haven’t been pushing all their buttons just yet. There is a two year old filly in the yard who hasn’t been named yet but she looks an exciting prospect.
She is out of the same mare (Diamond Run) as a horse I won on a few times for Michael Bell called Balladeer. This two-year-old filly is by Sprint Cup winner, Twilight Son, and is one to keep an eye out for when racing resumes!
@nhracingguide asks: Which big race winner gave you the biggest thrill/sense of achievement?
I think the obvious one would be Dream Ahead in the July Cup, but I think my win on Thanks Be, at Royal Ascot last year, is the one. Royal Ascot has been such a hard meeting to win and the fact that I had been injured and had come back from retirement, it meant that much more.
@loppylugs32 asks: If you could have ridden any horse in your memory, which one would it have been?
I think I’d say Motivator. It was right at the beginning of my career and I was an apprentice at Michael Bell’s who trained him. I led him in a lot of his work during his career, so I was a part of it all but never actually rode him on the racetrack! He was a fantastic horse and won the Derby by five lengths!
Motivator wins the 2005 Derby
@pauldyson10 asks: What’s the one horse you would love to be riding when racing returns?
There is a really nice filly called Lady Light that I won on first time out and then she finished 3rd in a Listed race at Newmarket, where she was a bit too keen. She has progressed really well through the winter and I can’t wait to see what she can do as a three year old.
@wellesley15 asks: if you weren’t a jockey, what job would you have wanted to do?
I am actually a qualified gym instructor which I enjoy doing so that would have been an option. My friends always say I’d be a good hairdresser because I’m good at doing hair and I talk a lot of rubbish!!
@leesaints7 asks: Who do you think is the greatest flat jockey of all time?
Ryan Moore. He never seems to be in the wrong place, he is so dedicated and is so strong in a finish. He is the ultimate professional.
@bluebirdJB asks: How many miles a year would you typically drive in a normal season?
I’d say about 60,000! It’s a big part of being a jockey. We all get quite used to it as a result, since it’s just part and parcel of riding. It’ll be tough getting back into it after having so long without any driving in this lockdown.
@waspranger asks: Every TV programme and film (or both) is being taken off of TV for ever and never being shown again, but you can save one to watch, which one would you keep?
I’d have to say Friends. I always watch it and even though I’ve watched it a million times, it still is brilliant.
@juke_07 asks: Hayley could you name an unknown apprentice to follow?
There is a young lad called Christian Howarth who has just got his license but hasn’t had a ride yet. He’s riding out at Marco Botti’s and I’ve given him a bit of help in the gym and he’s really strong and he’s got a good attitude so I’m looking forward to seeing how he gets on.
@DavidEdmonds19 asks: Can I ask which is your favourite track?
It’s a toss-up between the Newmarket July Course and Ascot.
@markiw270762 asks: What do you think was your greatest ride?
I think I’d say Ripp Orf in the Victoria Cup in 2008. We came from near last to get up on the line in a valuable, big field handicap.
@davidpatrickla1 asks: Have you ever fancied having a crack at a hurdles race?
I would like to have a go but not right now. Knowing me, if I had a go now, I’d fall off and injure myself, so I think it’s better to leave it!