We are delighted to be able to bring you an Interview with Rising Star Grace McEntee, the Daughter of Trainer Phil McEntee. Grace is a fine young Jockey on the road to stardom and has a fantastic mentor in Josie Gordon along with her Dad Phil….
Can you tell us a little bit about your self?
I’m 18 years old and based in Newmarket where I am apprentice for my dad Phil McEntee.
Lets start at the beginning, what is your earliest memory of racing?
When I was around 5-6 years old my dad trained a horse called Thoughtsofstardom, I used to ride him most days back from the gallops and always went racing with him. He won 13 races for us and was a yard favourite.
How old were you when you first got on a pony or horse?
I was on a pony before I could even walk
Did you always want to involved with horses?
Yes, being brought up around horses meant that I was always going to be involved with them, it’s all I knew and all I wanted to know.
When did you decide to become a Jockey?
Once I had finished my GCSE’s I went to college for about a month and decided that it wasn’t for me so I left and then aimed to become an apprentice jockey to my dad, however I went amateur first until I went apprentice in November (2018)
Has it helped with Dad being a trainer?
Yes massively as he’s given me a lot of opportunity’s and support that not many apprentices would get so early on in their careers. Also most of my dads owners have known me from a very young age so they are also very supportive of me and want me to do well.
Did you have to go through the BRS for your Racing Training?
I did my level 2 through Haddon training, however I did my amateur course through the BRS and my apprentice course through NRC.
How did you feel when you knew you were having your first race under rules?
It was very exciting and a day I will never forget! I was a lot more relaxed then I thought I would be but I think that’s because it was on a horse called Malaysian Boleh who I knew very well.
What was your first winner?
My first winner was trainer by Stuart Williams called Lunar Deity
You have ridden a few winners for Dad now, what advice does he give you before or after a race?
Win, lose or draw we always review the race and see where we could improve so it varies for each race.
How would you describe your racing style?
I’ve been riding work with Josie Gordon for a few years and she has ridden many winners for my dad so she would be someone that I look up to and try to base my self on.
We have seen a rise in female Jockeys, what are the Female facilities like at the race courses?
Most racecourses don’t have big enough facilities to accommodate the amount of girls that are riding now as most days it is very tight for room however they are trying to improve it.
Do you set any targets for the season? Champion Apprentice?
This year I would like to lose my 7lb claim, I know it sounds ambitious but you have got to be, haven’t you ?
If you could ride any horse PAST or PRESENT, who would it be & why?
Frankel, because his display in the 2000 Guineas will stick in my memory for ever.
We would like to thank Grace for her time and wish her all the best for the season ahead and for the future. You can see Grace at a Winners Enclosure near you in the future..
Interview by Rich Williams
Photo’s – Phil McEntee. Grace McEntee(Twitter)
Frankel – File