20 March 2016
For the second of my ‘PIGEON RACING’ interviews i speak to another Flat jockey who may not be familiar to some of you.
Justin Newman, who rides out for several trainers including Karl Burke speaks about his past present and future ambitions ahead of the 2016 Flat Turf season which starts in Ireland today
You can FOLLOW Justin on TWITTER
Date and Place of Birth
20 July 1989 Nottingham
Who inspired you into racing and when did you first realise you wanted to be a jockey
I never really knew what I wanted to do when I left school and one of my PE teachers who loved his racing gave me a leaflet on the NRC and said I should maybe go there, only because I was the smallest in the class!
I got myself on the course and after tasting the buzz of the gallops I decided I wanted to be a jockey!
What age did you first ride
I first started riding at the age of 13. I loaned a horse for weekends off a girl at school to keep me out of trouble, I didn’t really know how to tack up but I watched her a few times and when she wasn’t there I’d tack up the horse and go for a hack out and taught myself how to ride the basics
What are your strengths and weaknesses
I would say my strength is my strength. I’m not the lightest of lads so hopefully that comes into effect in a finish. My weakness would be I’m very impatient sometimes wanting things to happen sooner than they should
Who are your jockey idols
I worked with Silvestre (De Sousa) at Dandy’s (David Nicholls) when he first came over from Ireland and to be there from when he basically had nothing and couldn’t buy a ride to what he has now is a massive achievement and it just shows if you don’t give up you never know what could happen
Royston Ffrench is another jockey I’d look up to he has true horsemanship and is a very balanced rider. He places horses well in races, he’s someone I’d like see do well this season
Who gives you your best advice and what if any was the best advice given
Again, Royston would have given me a lot of advice during my career along with my agent Mark Furness he’s been there from day one and is always free for advice
First ride & first winner
Hamaasy (17 Aug 2006) at Beverley
Green Poppy (1 Jun 2010) at Redcar
Biggest or most satisfying/memorable winner
Satisfying win would be Verinco when he won the Catterick Dash in 2011. I gave the horse a poor ride at York the run before so he deserved to have his head back in front
Favourite horse and one you’ve ridden
Favourite horse I’ve ridden has to be Roninski (won 6 of his 26 races – 4 ridden by Justin) he gave me a few wins and was a legend of a horse who always gave me 110%
Musselburgh as i’ve been very lucky there
What time do you get up in the morning
5.30 most mornings sometimes earlier depends where I’m riding out
What’s worst part of the job
Worst part of the job would be weight watching and cold mornings
What hobbies or sports do you like away from racing
Out of racing I enjoy going fishing
Food and Drink Chocolate/Levi Roots Caribbean Crush (when I get to treat myself )
TV and Film Keith Lemon + Gladiator
Music R&B /reggae/dancehall
Which course would you like to ride a winner at this year
I wouldn’t mind riding a winner at any course to be honest but Nottingham is my home town and it’s always a good feeling when you ride a hometown winner!
What are your ambitions for 2016
I have a lot of catching up on my career from having time out it would be nice to lose my 5 and get to my 3 pound claim. I’ll just be keeping my head down and working hard. I have a good agent and plenty of support from owners/trainers so fingers crossed for the season
How long were you out for and what were the reasons for your break from the game ?
I think in total it was just short of two years. I fractured the joint in my elbow twice and the specialists wanted it to have plenty of time to heal, so I went to work for Godolphin for a while then came back up north. I think I had my last ride in August 2013 before I came back at the end of last year. My first ride back was in the Flat Jockeys hurdle race at Lingfield !
I believe the likes of yourself and Royston as well as Sean Levey are the only black jockeys in UK. Do you think this is an issue and would have any thoughts
Yeah I’m not sure why there are so few to be honest me and Royston have both similar backgrounds. We both grew up on council estates in rough cities. I wouldn’t like to think where I’d be today if I hadn’t moved away
Finally, can you give readers a horse to follow for 2016
Horse to follow would have to be Quiet Reflection. She was a very smart 2yo and looked like there was plenty left in the tank when winning the Group 3 at Newmarket last year
Thanks to Justin for his time and help. I wish him well for the upcoming 2016 Flat season. Here’s hoping for a good run of winners in the near future !