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My latest ‘RISING STAR’ jockey interview sees me talk to Charlie Hammond, 20, who is based with Dr Richard Newland and is sponsored by http://www.valueracingclub.co.uk
Charlie has ridden nine winners so far including three this season including HASSLE his most high profile winner so far
Date and Place of Birth
18th September 1996, in Worcester
Who inspired you to get into racing and when did you first realise you wanted to be a jockey
Mum and Dad both race rode and trained racehorses so it was just part of life really so i never wanted to be anything else
What age did you first ride
I first rode as a little kid, cant even remember it but ever since started to walk I have been riding
When was first actual race ride
My first race ride was when I was 16, at Black Forest Lodge in a point to point on a lovely horse called TIMESHIFT, mum trained it, and Mr Don Constable owned it
What are your strengths and weaknesses
I’d like to think my main strength is following instructions or being still at a fence when I need to be, my weakness would probably be that i’m not the most stylish, it’s improved lots but still needs to carry on improving
Who were your jockey idols you looked up to or maybe based yourself on
I think every young jockey would say AP was there idol, I mean, who wouldn’t want to achieve what he has?!
What & When was your first winner
My first winner was my first ride on Timeshift, we had a plan on how it would go during the race and it all fell in to place!
Which would you regard as your biggest win so far
My biggest win would be aboard HASSLE at Market Rasen, he won the bet365 prelude listed handicap hurdle, and it’s a day I’ll never forget
Which racecourses do you like / dislike and why
Well I’d have to say I like Market Rasen really, I’ve not really had a bad day there and that helps, and I quite like Wetherby for the same reason! I wouldn’t say I really dislike any track, it depends how good a day you have as to how much you like it, but if I had to say a track I’d say Sedgefield, it’s just a long day for a track that only suits certain horses
Who gives you your best advice
Probably my jockey coach (Carl Llewellyn) and my family, both big supporters that have an important input in to it all
Favourite horse – that you have ridden and would like to have ridden
Favourite horse I’ve ridden would have to be Hassle, a little horse with a big heart! A horse I’d of loved to have ridden was Boondooma of the boss’ (Dr Newland) a big chasing type, that had a high cruising speed and could seriously jump
What is the best horse you have ever ridden
Hassle would probably be the best hurdler i’ve ridden at the races, as well as the likes of ROYALE KNIGHT (below) although he’s a chaser
How many winners have you had so far
I’ve ridden 6 winners as a conditional, 3 this season, and have just reached a 100 rides for the season, already doubling what I had for the whole of last season
If you weren’t a jockey what do you think you’d be doing now
Never even thought about it, maybe something to do with computers or numbers as I was alright at school with those, but I never had any intention of going to college so it’s not something I’ve thought about
What time do you get up in the morning most days and what would be your average kind of day
I get up at 6-6:30, depending what time everyone wants to start at Dr Newland’s, feed all the horses, and harrow the gallops, then ride out, finish at his around 10am, and then go and ride out places after
Which stables do you work for or ride out at the moment
I ride out for Dr Newland (my boss – below), Sarah Jayne Davies, Rob Summers, Claire Dyson, and James Grassick, all this is made easier as I finish so early with Dr Newland!
Who are your best mates in the weighing room
I get on with all the lads, probably the likes of Stan Sheppard and Sean Bowen, as I pony raced a lot with them and have known them for years!
What’s the worst part of the job
The weather in the winter! It’s the only downside! Nothing worse than getting wet first lot, and then being wet for the next 5 hours!
What hobbies or sports do you like to watch or play away from racing
I like my football and cricket, really enjoy following my football, and I try and go to West Brom when I can
Favourite food and drink
Favourite food would have to be a curry, a chicken jalfrezi, and I quite like milkshakes to drink
Favourite TV and Film & Music
I don’t tend to watch a lot of TV, but something sporty, my favourite film would be any of the Fast and Furious, and I don’t really listen to music
Any strange or embarrassing moments you have seen or been involved in racing
When I was pony racing we had a void race, due to someone falling off at the start and then there was no recall man so we had a stewards enquiry and a void race!
Which course would you like to ride a winner at this year (even if you’ve already ridden a win there)
Cheltenham and Aintree but to be honest I wouldn’t mind riding a winner anywhere, especially for Sarah Jayne Davies as she’s been a huge supporter of me and I’m yet to ride a winner for her, she works hard and deserves more success
If you were put in charge of racing for one day what changes would you make
I’d make the pay greater for the stable staff, and the prize money better, it all helps increase people’s willingness to be in racing, whether an owner or a member of staff
What are your ambitions in racing short and long term ?
Short term, I’d love to ride more for Dr Newland, and ride more winners, long term, I’d love to be champion conditional but it’s all about building up contacts and people seeing your name in the paper, so hopefully i’ll get there
Can you give readers a horse to follow for the rest of the season
SIOUX CHIEFTAIN, I won on him at Wetherby in April, he’s been off since, but is back in training and is an exciting little horse (owned by valueracing.co.uk, my sponsors) and DEADLY APPROACH for Sarah, he’s a lovely big horse who has had one run over fences (behind TOP NOTCH at Warwick), and is bound to improve, he’s a big sort, and a lovely horse to sit on
My thanks to Charlie for giving me his time and best of luck to him for the rest of the season and beyond !