This week top amateur jockey James King is taking over the blog. James rides for me when commitments allow along side his main job riding for Fran and Charlie Poste
A rather dull and uncertain times for Amateur riders based in Britain at the moment. With no point to pointing on, and televised racing being solely for professional and conditional jockeys at the moment, amateur jockeys are unsure of when they will be allowed to ride again competitively.
Today was the first scheduled hunterchase of the 2021 season and normally something us Amateur riders get excited about and look forward to, but with the current restrictions, we are not able to take part. I think its good that they have been able to go ahead with the hunterchase programme, but not being able to ride is a real shame, missing out on good rides on good horses! Hopefully we can get back soon so that we do not miss much more of the season, and we can ride at the two big festivals which is the highlight of the amateur callender.
I’ve had a very good record in the Aintree foxhunters coming 2nd to On the fringe in my first attempt over the big fences on a great old horse called Dineur. I was lucky enough the following year to go one better with him in the 2017 running of the race and winning by 1 1/2 lengths, which was a huge thrill! I’ve had two more attempts in recent seasons completing and finishing 8th and 6th. I’m hoping to have another go this year on a horse called Risk a fine. I’m 5 wins from 7 starts on the him, and hope to be adding to that in the upcoming months. We were very unluckily last year not to get a run in the race because of covid so fingers crossed for 2021!
I first got into race riding through a local farmer called Tim Sage who trained a couple of horses up the road from where I used to keep my horses and ponies. I first met Tim Sage on the hunting field and it went on from there. I rode out at every given opportunity I had, galloping and schooling regularly on great old horses. All the hard work paid off in the end, and Tim very kindly gave me my first ride on Easter Monday at Lockinge, the horse was called Presentandcorrect; a super old handicap chaser. He won that day on my first ride and I was instantly hooked. I went on to win 5 more races on Percy until he retired to the hunting field.
I first met Max 2 seasons ago when he rang me up to ride a 4yo old filly called Calvin’s Gal. I had never really met max properly before, and the horse had no form on the flat, but he ensured me that she would run a really big race that day and she did. She was very unlucky not to win pecking on landing 2 out and getting beaten 1/2 a length. Since then I have been a regular jockey for team MCR when riding commitments allow, and the highlight of our partnership was finishing a very good 3rd in the coronation Cup, the most prestigious race of the p2p callender, last season on Pauls Hill for owner Neil O’Hara, before the season abruptly ended in March. I’m looking forward to teaming up with Max again once racing restarts.
I team up with Max when riding arrangements allow, and thats because I am attached to the high profile yard of Fran Nimmo and Charlie Poste. I have been with them for the past 18 months and have had great success in starting of many smart young horses racing careers. I’m only a small cog in the works and am lucky enough to race ride the talented youngsters before they progress on to racing under rules. Fran and Charlie buy unbroken 3yo store horses and race them, starting off there careers before hopefully becoming a future stars under rules. In most recent times they have started off the carers of smart novice hurdlers Third Time Lucki and Courtandbould who have both gone on to fly the flag under national hunt rules winning 8 times under rules between them.
Since lockdown has started and racing has been so stop and start for Amateur riders such as myself, I have been buying and producing a few horses of my own… but not racehorses though! Sports horses and hunters, which is really fun, and helps fill my afternoons when I’m not riding out. I most recently bought 2 foals one connemara and one sports horse so that will be exciting seeing how they grow and develop.
Lastly, fingers crossed we can all get back hunter chasing and point to pointing safely again soon. Best of luck for the rest of the season everyone!
James with his boss’ Fran and Charlie
James and Max
Aintree foxhunters hopeful, Risk a fine
James First winner, Presentandcorrect
James and Max before James first ride for MCR
Dineur on his way to winning the 2017 Aintree foxhunters
Calvins Gal coming 2nd