I’ve been into racing for almost 20 years and been lucky enough to have met many trainers and jockeys. I’ve had programs signed and pictures taken, but this is a very proud moment for me.
Emily’s has enjoyed a fantastic career as a pundit, a Jockey and a well respected commentator. Emily offers us the chance to get a rare insight into many different aspects of the racing game. She engages the public, gets involved with the fans,and is a credit to the racing game. Whilst Emily comes with many titles, I feel honoured to call her a friend.
I'm going to go with the obvious first question. .and what got you involved in racing at such a young age...a hobby or a calling??
I always had ponies but started riding out for a local point to point trainer Tim Jones aged 15
You have some big names involved in your early career such as Henry Candy and Clive Cox. .amongst others. Whom out of them all, was the most instrumental to you?
I have been lucky to ride for some brilliant & high profile trainers. My last winner was for Richard Hannon but Dai Burchell gave me my first winner under rules & really got me going
When you think back to when you rode your first winner...what did it mean for you and how did you feel?
No better feeling. I remember standing in the shower after the race & I couldn’t stop smiling
What advice would you give to someone hoping to get into the sport?
Be determined, tenacious & prepared to work bloody hard
I know that Aye Aye Digby is your superstar. I know that Frankel is the greatest, but who do you think is the best horse you've ever seen, not to have won at group level?
I had a real soft spot for a horse of Jim Goldie’s called Jack Dexter. He won 10 races & was rated in the 90’s at best. It broke my heart when he died last year.
Our readers may think it's all champagne and caviar, but they may be surprised to learn the story of your big win at ascot in 2000 and the necklace. Care to fill us in?
I had been driving my old fiesta the length & breadth of the country riding in all the amateur races that year & as a result was in a fair bit of debt. After I won the Diamond Race I sold my prize which was a gorgeous De Beers necklace & paid off my overdraft
We know you've been involved with horse transport throughout your career, could you explain to our readers what's involved in getting a horse to the track?
A lot of people don’t realise the work that goes in behind the scenes, I transported plenty of Lambourn runners around the country but the driving is the easy bit. The travelling head lads who often ride out 3 lots before looking after/leading up at the races & get back to the yard sometimes after midnight are the ones who deserve the credit
We have only recently learned that you also dabbled over jumps. It can't have been pretty or I would have remembered. Not many jockeys attempt this, which excited you more?
I actually rode more jump than flat winners as I started out based in a predominantly National Hunt yard. I love watching good flat racing but even moderate jump racing excites me
Did you ever feel prejudice or discrimination at any time in your career?
With shopping being your biggest weakness,have you ever spent more than £1000 on a dress???
Do you think trainers and jockeys do enough to get involved and engage with the racing public?
Has your car ever spent 3 nights in a row, in the pub car park?
Did the necklace cover the overdraft ?
Finally Emily, we have an imaginary champagne reception, we have only 4 tickets. Who from racing do we invite and why?
(Don't worry about me, I'm the host)
Richard Pitman (I could listen to his stories all day) John Francombe (for his wit & knowledge) Luke Harvey (however drunk you get you know he will be worse) AP McCoy (to drive home as he is Teetotal & like Nigel Mansell behind the wheel)