Jockey Interview – Vanessa Maye

Here’s the latest jockey interview with Alan Marron

The latest jockey to answer my questions is Vanessa Maye.

Vanessa hit the headlines on October 18th when winning at Dundalk on Geological, who was racing for the 100th time and was taking his career earnings past £200,000. Trainer Damian English purchased him for 800 guineas in 2015 for Grougha Stables after he had run seven times.

Better was to come as Vanessa was also on board when the eight-year-old scored again at Dundalk on November 1st and November 20th. Those wins – the first of Vanessa’s fledgling career – earned the gelding an invitation to the Dubai Racing Carnival at Meydan, where he ran respectably in two races, ridden on both occasions by Vanessa.

After the November 1st win, Damian said: “Vanessa keeps horses balanced, doesn’t complicate things and has a good head on her shoulders. She’s a very, very good rider and one of the best apprentices I’ve seen”.

The last six months have put the young rider firmly on the map and, as you will learn from her answers, she is passionate about her profession and hails from a racing family.

I would like to thank Vanessa for taking time out to answer my questions and I wish her every success for the future.

 

JOCKEY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 6 —— VANESSA MAYE

NAME: VANESSA MAYE

AGE: 20

WHERE ARE YOU FROM: MAYNOOTH , CO KILDARE

 

STABLE YOUR ATTACHED TO:

JACK DAVISON (IN DUNBOYNE, COUNTY MEATH), BUT I RIDE MOSTLY FOR DAMIAN ENGLISH. ALL MY WINNERS HAVE BEEN FOR DAMIAN. I WOULD RIDE WORK FOR WHOEVER NEEDS ME.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO RACING?

I GREW UP ON MOYGLARE STUD FARM AND I LIVED THERE UNTIL I WAS EIGHTEEN. MY MAM AND DAD ALWAYS KEPT HORSES AND A BROODMARE SO IT’S ALWAYS BEEN A BIG PART OF MY LIFE. WATCHING MY DAD (JOHNNY) BREAKING ALL THE YEARLINGS IN MOYGLARE DOWN THROUGH THE YEARS AND SEEING THEM GO ON TO WIN BIG RACES GOT ME MORE INTERESTED IN RACING AND SCHOOL WAS NEVER FOR ME SO I WAS ALWAYS GOING TO GO DOWN THE RACING ROUTE.

JOCKEY YOU IDOLISED GROWING UP:

IT HAS TO BE PAT SMULLEN. HE WAS THE RETAINED RIDER FOR MOYGLARE SO I KNEW HIM FROM A YOUNG AGE FROM GOING RACING WITH DAD AND HE HAD WON ON ONE OF MY MAM AND DAD’S HORSES A FEW TIMES. HE WAS A VERY TALENTED RIDER (CHAMPION JOCKEY NINE TIMES IN IRELAND) AND NEVER PANICKED AND I LOVE HIS STYLE TOO.

FAVOURITE RACECOURSE AND WHY:

I WOULD HAVE TO SAY MEYDAN. GETTING TO RIDE AT THE WORLD CUP CARNIVAL ON SUCH A BIG STAGE WITH ALL THE TOP RIDERS WAS AMAZING. AS A KID I ALWAYS LOVED WATCHING RACING AT MEYDAN SO TO GET A CHANCE TO RIDE THERE WAS A DREAM COME TRUE.

MY FAVOURITE  IRISH TRACK WOULD HAVE TO BE LEOPARDSTOWN. IT’S A BIG GALLOPING TRACK AND IT’S VERY FAIR AND THERE IS A GOOD ATMOSPHERE ON RACEDAYS.

TOUGHEST COURSE TO RIDE:

WOULD PROBABLY HAVE TO SAY GALWAY AS SOME HORSES DONT HANDLE THE TRACK DUE TO THE UNDULATIONS AND A GOOD DRAW IS KEY.

HAVING YOUR SISTER JESSICA IN THE WEIGHROOM HAS TO BE A BONUS; IS THERE MUCH SIBLING RIVALRY BETWEEN YE?

HAVING JESSICA IN THE WEIGHROOM WITH ME IS GREAT, SHE IS MY BEST FRIEND AND MY NUMBER ONE FAN. SHE COMES TO EVERY RACE MEETING WITH ME EVEN WHEN SHE IS NOT RIDING TO SUPPORT ME. THERE IS NO RIVALRY BETWEEN US. SHE IS VERY PROUD OF ME.

THE ONLY SMALL BIT OF RIVALRY WOULD BE WHEN MY MUM’S HORSES WOULD RUN, I LIKE TO PRETEND I AM GOING TO RIDE THEM BUT SHE RIDES THEM OUT EVERYDAY AS THEY ARE IN TRAINING WITH JOHN GEOGHEGAN SO SHE GETS THE LEG UP ON THEM NOW AS SHE GOT HER LICENCE JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS.

HOPEFULLY, WHEN RACING COMES BACK, SHE CAN GET MORE RIDES AND GET A WINNER THIS SEASON AS SHE IS A GOOD RIDER AND VERY STYLISH.

HORSE THAT YOU LOOK FORWARD TO THIS SEASON:

I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING HOW MADAKET MYSTERY PROGRESSES FROM A TWO YEAR OLD TO THREE. SHE RAN THREE LOVELY RACES AS A TWO YEAR OLD, FINISHING THIRD IN ALL THREE AND I THINK SHE WILL BE ONE TO WATCH OUT FOR THIS SEASON. (MADAKET MYSTERY IS TRAINED BY JACK DAVISON AND IS A GRANDDAUGHTER OF MOON UNIT, WHO WON FOUR LISTED RACES AND A GROUP 3 RACE FOR HARRY ROGERS. MOON UNIT RACED FOR JACK’S MOTHER, PAULA. MADAKET MYSTERY IS OWNED BY THE GREY LADY RACING SYNDICATE)

SIMSIR,TRAINED BY MICHAEL HALFORD IS ANOTHER TO KEEP AN EYE ON. I RODE WORK ON HIM IN DUBAI AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVED HIM. HE WON OUT THERE AS WELL AND IS ONE TO LOOK FORWARD TO THIS SEASON.

AND, OF COURSE, GEOLOGICAL IS THERE, TOO. HE IS THE BEST!

 

Vanessa and her beloved Geological (from Twitter account of @denglish_racing)

 

GEOLOGICAL WINNING ON HIS 100TH START AND YOU GETTING YOUR FIRST WIN AS A JOCKEY, HOW PROUD A MOMENT WAS THAT?  

IT WAS THE MOST SPECIAL THING THAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED. I RODE HIM THE TIME BEFORE OVER FIVE FURLONGS AND I FELT HE WAS A LITTLE OUTPACED SO I SUGGESTED TO DAMIAN TO STEP HIM BACK UP IN TRIP. DAMIAN ASKED ME WOULD I LIKE TO RIDE HIM ON HIS 100TH START AND OF COURSE I SAID YES. I WAS VERY EXCITED.

OBVIOUSLY, GOING INTO THE RACE THERE WAS A LOT OF SPECULATION AROUND GEOLOGICAL AS IT WAS HIS 100TH RACE. TO GO ON AND WIN THE WAY HE DID WAS VERY SPECIAL.ALL MY FAMILY WERE UP THERE TOO SO THERE WAS GREAT EXCITEMENT.

I CAN’T THANK DAMIAN AND HIS OWNERS ENOUGH FOR ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES THEY HAVE GIVEN ME SO FAR.

GEOLOGICAL WENT GLOBAL AS YE BOTH ENDED UP IN MEYDAN. HOW WAS THAT EXPERIENCE?

BEING IN DUBAI WITH GEOLOGICAL WAS NOTHING SHORT OF A DREAM COME TRUE. I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT WHEN DAMIAN RANG ME AND SAID THE HORSE WAS GOING AND HE WANTED ME TO RIDE HIM. GROWING UP I ALWAYS THOUGHT I WOULD LOVE TO RIDE AT MEYDAN SOME DAY.,SEEING A HORSE THAT MY MAM AND DAD BRED, INVINCIBLE ASH, RUN IN GROUP RACES AND WIN A LISTED RACE THERE MADE IT EVEN MORE OF A DREAM TO RIDE THERE, BUT I NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD HAPPEN SO SOON IN MY CAREER.  I WAS LIKE A KID AT CHRISTMAS GOING OUT TO THE PARADE RING ON THE CARNIVAL NIGHTS – I COULDN’T GET THE SMILE OFF MY FACE.

HE RAN TWO NICE RACES OUT THERE AND WE WERE HAPPY WITH HIM, IT IS JUST VERY COMPETITIVE!  IT WAS LOVELY GETTING TO SPEND TIME WITH GEOLOGICAL AS WELL AND GETTING TO KNOW HIM PROPERLY AND, NEEDLESS TO SAY, I FELL IN LOVE WITH HIM. I RODE OUT FORA FEW DIFFERENT TRAINERS OVER THERE, TOO, AND I THINK MY RIDING IMPROVED, WHICH IS GOOD. WINTER IN THE SUN WAS FABULOUS TOO.

IT ISN’T EASY FOR FEMALE RIDERS IN IRELAND. HOW IMPORTANT HAS RACHAEL BLACKMORE BEEN IN RAISING THEIR PROFILE AND ALSO HOLLIE DOYLE WHO IS DOING SO WELL ACROSS THE WATER?

I THINK GIRLS ARE STARTING TO BE MORE ON PAR WITH THE BOYS BUT THERE IS A LONG WAY TO GO IN IRELAND FOR THE GIRL APPRENTICES TO BE ON PAR. ENGLAND HAS MORE RACING SO IT PROVIDES MORE OPPORTUNITIES, BUT IF WE KEEP PROGRESSING AS WE ARE HERE THEN I THINK GIRLS WILL GET TO SHOW THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.

DUNDALK HAS BEEN VERY IMPORTANT TO ME AS I RODE THERE EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT BEFORE DUBAI. I HAVE RIDDEN MY FOUR WINNERS THERE AND ITS A GOOD TRACK FOR APPRENTICES TO GET A CHANCE DURING THE WINTER MONTHS.

RACE YOU WOULD MOST LIKE TO WIN:

I WOULD LOVE TO WIN ANY OF THE CLASSICS BUT, TO BE HONEST, IF I RIDE OUT MY CLAIM THAT WILL BE A MASSIVE ACHIEVEMENT.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO OWN THAT YOU DONT HAVE ALREADY:

A PRIVATE JET

HOBBIES OUTSIDE OF RACING:

I DO ENJOY RUNNING AND GOING TO THE GYM TO KEEP FIT. I LIKE TO WATCH THE SOAPS ON TV EVERY NIGHT AS WELL.

FOOTBALL TEAM YOU SUPPORT:

I LOVED COLLECTING MATCH ATTAX WHEN I WAS A KID AND SUPPORTED LIVERPOOL. I THOUGHT I WAS GREAT WHEN I GOT A LIMITED EDITION STEVEN GERRARD CARD!

 

The Luke Dempsey interview can be found via this link

The Oakley Brown interview can be found via this link

The Oisin Orr interview can be found via this link

The Conor Orr interview can be found via this link

The Rossa Ryan interview can be found via this link

 

 



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