IN the latest in our series from Horse Racing Ireland, jockey Wayne Lordan lets us in on the secret to his success.
What was your childhood ambition?
"To be a jockey."
Growing up, who was your sporting hero?
Do you have a mentor?
"I am lucky to have a panel of mentors who I rely on for specialist advice in their expert areas, but my agent Ryan McElligott is my go-to guy."
What or where is your happy place?
"At home with my family doing the simple things."
What sparked your love of racing?
"I grew up in a racing household, it was in my genes, my blood, and my heart from day one."
What horse put you on the map?
"Sole Power winning the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York in 2010 captured media attention and at 100/1 winning such a prestigious grade one race I guess he captured the imagination of the public and underdogs everywhere that day, I was a lucky underdog to be on board. It was a turning point for sure."
Who is your favourite horse?
"I love horses, I love riding horses and watching horse racing so picking a favourite is hard to choose. There are so many great horses on the flat and over jumps all over the world to marvel."
Describe the feeling of riding your first winner?
"It was on Ethbaat in Killarney, July 1998. Happy and relived to get it, it was a great buzz and confirmation of that I had caught the racing bug."
What is your most memorable racing moment?
"Thankfully, I have been fortunate enough to had ridden many great winners and so many of them are memorable for different reasons. However, my Breeders’ Cup success on board Iridessa for Joseph O’Brien in Santa Anita last November was something many jockeys spend their lives trying to achieve so it was pretty special indeed."
What is your favourite racecourse in Ireland?
If you weren’t a jockey what would you be?
"I’m not sure! I wasn’t a lover of school and my passion was always horses. They tell me at home that I could ride before I could walk so, I would definitely be working with horses in some shape or form that’s for sure."
If you could ride one horse, what would it be?
"The next superstar! As a jockey you are always waiting, working, looking forward to and hoping you find the one that will be a machine like no other!"
How do you deal with dips in form?
"I try not to change to much because everyone goes through a dip in form at some stage and form comes back. I believe if you take knee jerk reactions it can be counter productive and could impede your best form in the long run."
Outside of racing, what is your favourite sporting moment?
"Cork winning the All-Ireland any year. I’m not fussy!"
Can you give us a Netflix/film recommendation?
"The Stranger or Safe on Netflix are good."
What is your guilty pleasure?
"Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate."
Desert island discs – name your favourite three songs?
"I would listen to anything, but folk, country and pop are my preference and three from those genres will do."
"Bacon and cabbage by a country mile!"
Where is your favourite place to go on holidays?
"I love some winter sun in Puerto Rico in Gran Canaria. It is as hot as you can get and only a few hours away on a flight."
What ambitions do you still have?
"To stay race riding for as long as I can, enjoy many more winners along the way and leave on my own terms."
What is the hidden gem of Cork?
"Kinsale. It is such a beautiful spot where my mother was born and my grandparents lived until they passed away, I have great memories of being there as a child and I always enjoy going back."
When you think of your home what immediately springs to mind?
"Happiness and craziness as my wife and I have two children under the age of three. It’s often the unknown that springs to mind first when I think of home, every day is different!"
"What’s for you, won’t pass you."