Dougie Costello


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28 November 2016

My latest ‘RISING STAR’ jockey interview sees me talk to Dougie Costello who is not so much a rising star but a fully fledged star following his career transition from Jumps jockey to the Flat reaching it’s peak with fantastic Group 1 success in 2016 thanks to sensational sprinting filly QUIET REFLECTION for the  team

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Date and Place of Birth

4th March 1983 in Dublin … but don’t tell Any 1 because I’m a Galway man!

Who inspired you to get into racing and when did you first realise you wanted to be a jockey

It’s always been a part of the family but my Uncle Jimmy was a big influence on me, he was a hunts master

What age did you first ride

I think the first time I sat on a pony I was 2-3yrs old

When was first actual race ride

As a professional Rosscommon I was 16 yrs old and it was for Gerry Lynch. A filly in a hurdle race can’t remember her name but Jason Maguire won on her before he moved to England

I previously rode in pony races at 14-15yrs old

What are your strengths and weaknesses
I’d like to think my pace in a race & strength in saddle & I get on with most owners

Weaknesses? My PR could be a lot better outside of the racecourse & I’m all or nothing. My temper can be hard to handle

Who were your jockey idols you looked up to or maybe based yourself on

Sir McCoy, Ruby Walsh , Richard Dunwoody, Paul Carberry, Timmy Murphy, Richard Johnson, Jamie Osborne , Conor O’Dwyer and when I came to England one of the best jockeys that was underrated Russ Garritty who was a big help to me when i was in my early 20’s.
I think as a rider u have to take the best parts of every jockey and use your own style

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What & When was your first winner

First winner was YORK RITE at Bangor-on-Dee (1 Aug 2003) for Richard Guest in a 3m boys handicap hurdle

Which would you regard as your biggest win so far

I’ve been lucky so far with Saturday winners including handicaps, graded & group races they were all big for me. But for the outside public I would have to say Royal Ascot Quiet reflection & for prize money

Which racecourses do you like / dislike and why

Like; whichever one I ride most winners at!
Dislike: the ones I can’t ride winners at!

Who gives you your best advice

Best advice; hard work never killed any 1! My grandmother
& patience is a virtue seldom in woman never in a man!!! My grandmother

Favourite horse – that you have ridden and would like to have ridden

Fav to many to mention! I would like to have ridden Kauto Star

How would you sum up the differences you have found in transition from Jumps to Flat jockey

Still working with the same animals (horses) , It trying to figure out rides u ride with who panics and who doesn’t!

What time do you get up in the morning most days and what would be your average kind of day

  1. 5am drive to the yard
  2. ride out back in the car drive to the track
  3. Go for a 3-4 mile run get in the sweat box (sauna)
  4. Make ur weights, ride, cup of coffee with a chocolate bar, boiled eggs with lots of water drive home
  5. If home early help with putting Aoife (daughter – below) to bed, some white meat for food with a green tea or a beer if light next day back in the bath with a movie then bed 11pm

Dougie Costello

Which stables do you work for or ride out at the moment

Karl Burke – John Quinn – Mark Walford

Who are your best mates in the weighing room

We are all good friends!

What’s the worst part of the job

Someone else winning on something you can’t!

What hobbies or sports do you like to watch or play away from racing

Running the dog / exercise
Watch sports; GP (bike racing) , Boxing & Cage fighting

Favourite food and drink

Anything from our local pub Crown & Cushion & the Jolly Farmer at Leavening. Drinks: Stella, white wine, water & (Red Bull only after sweating)

Favourite TV and Film & Music

TV: Game of Thrones
Movies: Bad Boys , 8 seconds & I watched Pele the movie on holidays 👍
Music: 80’s-90’s & country singer Garth Brooks

Which course would you like to ride a winner at this year (even if you’ve already ridden a win there)

Dubai-Cheltenham-Leopardstown-Galway and a big one at York!!
Not greedy me!

If you were put in charge of racing for one day what changes would you make

One day:
Racing only with totes like France
People pay less at the gates so more people will come racing because betting is fair with the totes
Children under 16 free So children will fall in love with the animal again and not the betting side (at the moment our next generation will be gamblers with no life’s & families but bookies & the government will be the winners)

No racing on Sundays & Mondays
Better racing Tuesdays-Thursdays-Saturdays:

All weather racing five nights a week for low grade horses with 6 race cards £6k per race & price money for 1st, 2nd & 3rd
Best turned out prize money for the two best looking horses 1st place £150 2nd £50 for every race with local sponsorship,
& every local business gets a free pitch for the first year then after that £1000 to £600 depending on pitching areas

Then at Christmas the championship all weather card 6 races with prize money per races £80k pots 1st, 2nd & 3rd
So the grass races will run from February to 30th November with the biggest cards Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 3 grass meeting on these day with two all weather cards but Wednesday/Friday 2 grass & two all weathers

And a bonus for champions on grass & all weather horses, jockeys, trainers & staff

First five home then bonus for best turned out horses through the yr for staff. Champions back to most winners trained & risen not best prize money. Jockeys Agents only allowed 10 jockeys on their bookies plus 2 from outside the UK that only come here a couple of days a week

What are your ambitions for the near future

To be a champion jockey whether it be flat , jumps or all weather!
And to ride wins in Dubai/Cheltenham

Can you give readers a horse to follow for the rest of the season


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Thanks so much to Dougie for his fascinating and entertaining interview and giving me his time for you !