Obviously, the big news of the week has been the changes to the minimum riding weights, and plenty of jockeys have made their voices heard on the matter, whether on social media or directly to the BHA.
It goes without saying that this change will affect all of us, and it’s going to be really tough for a lot of jockeys, especially without having the saunas available on the day of the race. This will completely change our preparations for races and will have a knock-on effect as weight management and nutrition is already a difficult issue for us year-round, and this change just makes all of that even more complicated.
Mental and Physical Health Conerns
I think most of us are surprised at the way it’s been brought in. It seems as though our concerns weren’t listened to and many of us feel that the change is not ideal, unfair, and somewhat unnecessary. The racing is as good as ever, track records are being broken time and time again, so many of us are left thinking: why the need for the change?
Lastly, it’s also a question of mental and physical health. In this day and age, we all know how important both of these are and the effects that the smallest changes can have on a person. Taking away the option to lose a couple of pounds on a raceday while still staying under a minimum weight, puts a great mental and physical strain on jockeys week after week and it’s something I think we have to be aware of.
Previewing My Rides this Weekend
On to my rides this weekend and I’ve got five rides to look forward to. I’m starting off Saturday on Hystery Bere in the 12:15 at Cheltenham, and I’m hoping for him to run well in a competitive race. He’s a young horse who’s constantly improving with experience, so we’ll be looking to challenge up at the front for sure.
Next up I’m riding Paisley Park in the 3:05, where Champ definitely looks the one to beat. His record is really good and he’s coming off the back of a very good run at Ascot. However, Paisley Park has run very well this year without winning, and the track suits him, so we’ll be hoping for a good showing in a small field.
My final ride on Saturday is on Mistral Nell, in the 4:15. We know that she’s very competitive and is 1 from 1 so far, and with an excellent trainer like Lucy Wadham, you’d expect her to be in good form, so we’re hopeful for another good run.
On to Sunday, and I’m starting out on Eaglehill in the 1:50 at Fontwell. He was a bit disappointing last time out, but he’s done very well in general and in a small field with good prize money we’ll be looking to put in another good performance.
Finally, we’ll take a look at Hourvari, who I’m riding in the 4:20. He ran well in his first race over at Warwick, where we finished 4th, so if he improves on that we’ll have a really good chance. Once again, I’m positive about my rides this week and am looking to another productive weekend!