This weeks Rising Star is Phillip Dennis, an apprentice jockey for hire… Based with Jim Goldie but is a man armed with a 3Lb claim and is looking to lose it… Here is Phillip in his own words –
1 – Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m from Darlington in County Durham and come from a horse orientated background. My dad was a jump jockey and is now course inspector for Northern racecourses, my mum did a lot of show jumping and now hunting and also rode in point to points. I’ve ridden for as long as I can remember and was also into about any sport going when I was a kid.
As of this season my license is held by Jim Goldie and am allowed to ride out in a good few different places to hopefully help build some contacts, I’m currently claiming 3lb.
2 – What is your first racing memory?
My earliest racing memories were probably going to the point to points on a weekend with my parents runners and on the way home dressing up in the silks out of the colour bag!
3 – Did you always want to be a Jockey? If not what other career would you have liked to have tried?
I’ve always wanted to be a jockey and have always been fairly set on it, whether or not I manage to make a career out of it. I’ll give it everything I can. As for wanting to do other things I guess something like a pro golfer wouldn’t be bad pay or a bad lifestyle travelling the world.
4 – Can you tell us about your Journey to becoming a jockey?
I was very lucky to have ponies as a kid and my parents would take me to all sorts of events, gymkhana’s and hunting. Then pony racing when I got a bit older so I’m very grateful to them. I then went point to pointing for 2 seasons where I had great fun and 3 winners before going conditional for just a few months where I also had 3 winners. Jumping was what I wanted to do as a grew up but ended up to light for it and that’s when I went apprentice and have since had 68 winners.
5 – Can you tell us your first winner and where?
My first winner under rules was on my 4th ride at Haydock in a 1m4 amateur flat race on a mare of Edwin Tuers called Ailsa Craig, that was a great day.
6 – What are your aims for the season and the future?
I just want to keep working hard and improving with each ride I get then hopefully winners will come
7 – If you could ride any horse Past OR Present, who would it be and why?
The obvious one would be Frankel, to go out on a horse that’s never been beaten must give a jockey some confidence. And more recently a horse running at present is tiger roll in the grand national, he looked a class spin round.
Fav colour – Blue
Fav drink – Costa vanilla latte
Fav activity – Golf
Fav music – bit of an old one Tina Turner proud Mary
And finally, can you give our readers a couple of horses to follow for the season ahead?
Declan Carroll’s Abel Handy was game to win a group 3 at Newmarket at the end of last season and is a very genuine horse so will be interesting to see if he’s improved and compete in the best sprints this year.
A big thanks you to Phillip for his time. We look forward to seeing him in the winners enclosure again very soon and losing his 3Lb claim. A man on a mission. We are in no doubt the claim in on it’s way out!
Interview by Rich Williams
Pictures Supplied by Phillip Dennis (Except Tiger Roll – File)