We are delighted to present an Interview with Jodie Standing, Racing Assistant & Author of The Point To Point Recruits. We talk to Jodie about her love of Horses, her journey into racing via Tennis and about what goes into writing the book…..


Can you tell us a little about yourself please?

I was born in 1989 and raised on a farm in the Lake District, where I spent my youth surrounded by sheep and cows. I was never too interested in school; instead I’d much rather help my dad milking the cows, going to the auction or lambing sheep!

At secondary school I took more of an interest in sports and started playing tennis at my local club, where I became quite good, reaching county standard for the Under 16s and later I played for the U18s and the Open County.

Alongside studying for my A-Levels, I started to pursue a career as a tennis coach and passed my first coaching course at 17, which led to a full-time job.

When & how did your interest in horses start?

I’ve always loved horses. Growing up we had horses on the farm. I used to have riding lessons and go on hacks around the lanes, but it was my sister who was more the horsey one. She went to pony club, shows and gymkhanas whilst I stayed at home petting the cows and sheep!

What is your earliest memory of horses or racing?

My earliest racing memory was when my Grandad allowed me and my sister to pick a Grand National horse from the newspaper and he would put a pound or two on for us. In 1999 I picked Bobbyjo!


Can you tell us about your journey into racing?

Around 2006 or 2007 I met Marten Julian – we played tennis at the same club. I think it was when I was coaching one day, he rang me to ask if I would like to like to drive him to Ascot (April 2008) the following Friday. He knew an owner who had a runner and he’d hired a box for the day!

At 19 years old, I’d never really had a bet, but I came away from the track around £300 richer thanks to David Pipe’s Mamlook and Philip Hobbs’ Out The Black. I knew nothing about form, so I picked both horses purely on how they looked in the paddock and both won at 20/1. To make it even better, I had the exacta in each race…beginner’s luck! I had to hide my excitement when Out The Black won, as the horse we were there to watch finished fourth in the same race!

Mamlook ran at the Cheltenham Festival and Aintree, as well as the Cesarawitch before winning the Chester Cup. He was the first horse I followed.

You are Racing Assistant to Marten Julian, how did this opportunity come about & how long have you been in your current role?

This will be my 11th year!

After driving Marten to the races a couple of times, I started to do odds jobs in his office – mostly photocopying – the joys! That progressed to the filing, note taking and the odd bit of race research/analysis for his Dark Horses guides.

It’s amazing how much you learn from listening, watching and asking questions.


You write The Point to Point recruits Book, how did your first book come about?

I have contributed to Marten’s Dark Horses Jumps Guide for a few years, mainly writing a point-to-point section containing around 20 horses. When I looked at the list of names I had for the 2018/19 editions, I felt there were enough to warrant a standalone publication. After much deliberation, I put my thoughts across to Marten, and thankfully he thought it was a brilliant idea!

What type of research do you have to do each year for each book?

I watch virtually every four and five-year-old point-to-point from November through to May and make notes on anything that catches my eye.

I look to see if the horses have gone to the sales, where they’ve gone, who bought them and then look at their pedigrees. It’s also important to see the horses and if possible I go to the sales to see what sells through the ring, I can then see if they have scope, how they move, their conformation and things like that.

Connections, bloodstock agents and trainers or previous handlers of the horses have also been extremely helpful and have answered any questions I have.

I usually make a start of writing in May and dip into it throughout the summer months before applying the finishing touches in September. I like to get the vast majority of words on the page before August before going to Sicily for two weeks where I read through it all on the beach!

How do you manage to combine the hours of writing with your racing job or do they run side by side?

Horse racing isn’t a Monday to Friday 9-5 job, so it can be quite full-on.

I currently work three days a week in the racing office alongside Rebecca, Marten’s Daughter, who has managed the ship for over 20 years. I also write a weekly article for a publication called The Weekend Card, which is published in-house at Marten’s and dispatched on a Thursday.

As well as this, I also work at a family-owned marina on Lake Windermere and I help on the farm during busy periods. Life is pretty hectic!

My social life is a little compromised, especially at busy times such as Cheltenham and Aintree, but I’m doing something I love. I don’t class writing about horses as a job. Any spare moment I’ve got I’m usually sat in front of my laptop watching replays and making notes!

The books have been well received, have you been surprised?

Very. I had no expectations whatsoever, and I’m honestly blown away by all the generous feedback!

I don’t profess to have the greatest knowledge, the vastest vocabulary or the deepest insight into racing, but I do have a passion and an intuition for horses, and this is what I like to share. I like to spot something, and hopefully get across what I have seen, in words. I find it difficult sometimes, and it’s not uncommon for me to take two hours to write one paragraph, but I hope I get there in the end!


If you could own any horse… Past OR Present who would it be & why?

That’s a tough question. I love an honest, bold jumping galloper, so Native River fits the bill.

And finally…. Can you give us a dark horse to keep an eye on for the rest of the season? Or maybe one to put in the tracker for next season!!

I’m not sure if you can call him ‘dark’, but I love a horse called Escaria Ten trained by Gordon Elliott for the McNeil Family. I think we are only scratching the surface with him. He could go right to the very top.

One for the tracker for next season is a horse called Velasco. A very easy winner of a point at Milborne at the beginning of February for Sophie and Tom Lacey. He posted a very good time and could head to the sales.

We would like to thank Jodie for her time and wish her all the success for her career in racing & the continued success of the Point To Point Recruit Publication….

Interview by Rich Williams
Photos – Jodie Standing & Native River by Fran Altoft

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