JOCKEY TALK! Tom Strawson

Tom Strawson and Panama Canal

Tom Strawson has been the leading rider in the Midlands Area for the last two years, ending last season well ahead of his rivals. His tally of winners has increased from 1 in 2013 to 6 in 2014 and 10 in 2015 while his strike rate is currently at 16%. A Hunter Chase win has so far alluded him but he came close to this goal when finishing second at Fakenham last May on Roby De Cimbre for the Robinson family. Strawson is an excellent horseman and continually strives to improve his riding; this year he has invested in an Equicizer to further increase his fitness. He has had a disappointing start to the season and will be looking forward to a change of fortune at Brocklesby on Sunday.

How is the season going so far?

Not great; sadly one of my best rides, Directors Forum, was injured at Cottenham in January when running well in what had been intended to be a prep race for Brocklesby. I am really sad for the group of loyal enthusiasts (Geoff Hunter, Julie Sowerby and Geoff Hunter) who bought Directors Forum to run; he went wrong last season too. He has so much ability and was going so well that day too. They were so keen to race at Brocklesby; the course is about a mile and a half from where the horse is stabled and to not get there two years in a row is so disappointing.

What rides do you expect to have on Sunday?

I ride Somethingwonderful in the Member’s race; he is an 8 year old that we bought at Doncaster Sales last September from Gigginstown Stud in Ireland. He has won in Ireland and been racing over two miles to two and a half miles. Unfortunately he has had a few nasty falls and lost his confidence for jumping. He has a big rangy stride but when he gets in close to a fence he struggles to fiddle and put himself right. Becky and I have done lots of schooling with him over poles and he has been educated out hunting with the Brocklesby. I am not too sure what to expect from him on Sunday to be honest!

In the Mixed Open I hopefully ride Out Of Range for Pauline Harkin, a horse I am very much looking forward to. He is a big, scopey honest horse who has won a Maiden, Restricted and Novice Hunter Chase. Pauline’s yard is in form, they had a nice Maiden winner at Higham a few weeks ago, however it looks like it could be a hot race on Sunday if Carruthers turns up!

I may ride The Laodicean in the Nine Year olds and over Midlands Area Conditions Race and Larger Than Life in the Maiden for Tik Saunders if Tom McClorey is claimed for the Bailey runners. The Laidicean is a nice horse that ran under rules and he will be fit; he should be a nice spin.

Tim Tarratt has a nice mare called Quizzacle Nomad entered in the Mare’s Maiden. I rode her at Higham and she showed lots of promise and although she is very green she has lots of potential. Quizzacle Nomad’s grand dam Query Line bred Doctor Kingsley and I am very much looking forward to riding her on Sunday.

Apart from the horses you are riding on Sunday, what other rides do you have to look forward to this season?

There are a number of Maidens that I am particularly excited about. Milson Robinson bought a nice one out of Alan King’s stable at Doncaster sales last week called Hurricane Vic. He is a lovely big six year old by Mount Nelson, he has been placed in bumpers and over hurdles. He will have to wait until April to run though because of the 60 day rule. Milson also has Roby De Cimbre and Panama Canal ready to go again; Panama Canal will run at Garthorpe at the end of February all being well, he loves it there and so does Milson!

Roger Jackson has a Maiden called Master Todd, he is 11 years old but lightly raced. He has run under rules and schooled well, he may run at either Thorpe or Garthorpe. Gonalston Cloud has won twice under rules which I am delighted about although I would have very much enjoyed riding him in Men’s Open races on the prevailing soft ground……

What are your aims for this season, have you set yourself any goals?

My main priority is to be the leading rider in the Midlands Area once again. To achieve this I hope to ride more winners than last year and avoid falls.

Was the Equicizer a worthwhile investment?

Yes the “jockey’s rocking horse” comes in handy. Harry (Burt) and Yas (Eagle) have also been using it.

Will there be the usual after racing party at Riby on Sunday?

No not this week; we are going to the New Inn at Limber for the Point-to-Point supper. It is a lovely pub, the food is excellent and there will be a great atmosphere in there after racing.

If you would like to join Tom at the New Inn on Sunday night you can book a table – the offer is 2 courses for £15 and food will be served from 4.30pm. Tel: 01469 569998

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