Tommy Dowson


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My latest ‘RISING STAR’ jockey interview sees me talk to Tommy Dowson, who is a name to watch out for on the Northern Jumps scene as the new season starts to ‘step up a gear’ !
Tommy is currently 5th in the 2016/17 conditional jockeys championship with 8 winners
11 September 2016

Date and Place of Birth

1st February 1996, Bishop Auckland

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

My parents who both followed racing

What age did you first ride

I always rode pony’s as a boy, my dad was a jockey many years ago and I started riding out at Christopher Dawson’s point to point yard when I was 14

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

5.45 am I ride a lot out for Jonathan Haynes before I go on to Maurice Barnes for 7am till 1pm then go back to Jonathon Haynes to ride a couple more of lots out

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

I work for Maurice Barnes and also ride out odd days when I have time for Kenny Johnson, Simon Waugh, Harriet Graham, Rose Dobbin and George Charlton

What are your strengths and weaknesses

Strengths would be being able to do light weights which provides a lot more opportunities and I would like to think most horse jump and travel well for me

I’m always trying to get stronger in a finish although I don’t think it’s a weak point any more and I’m always trying to improve it!

Who are your jockey idols you look up to or maybe based yourself on

As a rider I’ve always thought Wilson Renwick was top class in the north although he didn’t get a lot of opportunities, he was great over an obstacle and strong as an ox !

The likes of Brian Harding is a great example for professionalism still riding lots of winners every year so he must be doing something right!

When was your first ride & winner and where and how many winners so far approximately

My first race ride was on a maiden point to pointer my dad bought for me, he was called Jumpin Johnnie but ironically he unseated me a lot!

My first winner under rules was on a horse called CAPTAIN SHARPE for Robert Johnson around Newcastle 11 December 2014

I’ve now had 18 winners

Is it hard work at the moment getting rides

I’ve been very lucky lately and getting plenty of opportunities so I wouldn’t say it’s a struggle. A lot of trainers have been very good and supportive over the last couple of years who I can’t thank enough

Which would you regard as your biggest win

My biggest wins so far have been when winning class 3 handicaps on the likes of BEYONDTEMPTATION, DYNAMIC DRIVE and SCOTSWELL

Which racecourses do you like / dislike and why

Hexham and Newcastle are my favourite racecourses mainly because I’ve had a bit of luck round there but they’re both big galloping tracks and very fair

I’ve not been lucky at Musselburgh so far and with it being so trappy and sharp i think that’s because it doesn’t suit any of the horses I’ve ridden there

Who gives you your best advice

I get a lot of advice, which is all good. Tim Reed is my jockey coach who is good to talk to, my boss Maurice Barnes is also a book of knowledge having been in the game for a lot of years and as far as the weighing room goes Sean Quinlan gives me a lot of advice and help

Favourite horses that you have ridden

My favourite horse I’ve ever rode would be DYNAMIC DRIVE. He gaive me my first winner for my boss which also lost me my 10lb claim and I won three times on him. He travelled and jumped very well and liked to be delivered late, he gave a very good feel on a good day which was most days! Unfortunately he’s not with us anymore but he won’t be forgotten!

BEYONDTEMPTATION and SCOTSWELL are also great horses to ride, both front runners and excellent jumpers

What’s the best horse you’ve ridden

It would be hard to pinpoint the best horse I’ve ever rode, as they’ve been mostly just good handicappers all of similar ability. But a young horse I ride out every morning called GET ON SAM will definitely be up there, he’s still very much the unfinished article only being four and a big frame to grow into. He’s only run was when finishing in midfield in a bumper but was very green and will improve a lot as he gets older

Who are your best mates in racing / the weighing room

I wouldn’t like to say a best mate in the weighing room as I get on with everyone! But if i did, myself and Finian O’Toole get on very well and are normally seated together!

What’s the worst part of the job

Mucking out!

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

I love going out with friends on a weekend socialising when there’s no racing, I like most sports, especially football and boxing!

Favourite food and drink

I’m a good grubber, like most foods, but don’t think it’s possible to beat my mums Sunday lunch although I do like a lasagne!

Drink would have to be cups of tea!!

Favourite TV Film and Music

Peaky Blinders is the only television i watch!

I like anything in the charts really, I’m a terrible singer and normally getting abused riding out for my terrible singing!

Which course would you like to ride a winner at this year 

I’d love to ride a winner round the National fences, or even just a ride! Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll have a horse suitable that could go for any of the races yet but hopefully, one day

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

Stable staff don’t get enough recognition for all the hard work they put in, things are getting better and I’m sure they will in years to come but they should get a lot more recognition

What are your ambitions for the near future

I would love to win the northern conditional title this season I am just in front as it stands so hopefully my luck keeps running

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

My horses to follow would be GET ON SAM and LOU LOU MILLS

Big thanks to Tommy for his time and very best of luck to him for the new season

I hope you enjoyed our chat !