'How a phone call gave me a shot at realising dreams'
A SHOW of initiative led to Tom Molloy achieving his ambition of being appointed as a stable jockey.
Rather than sit and wait for a call that might never come, he made the first move by contacting Graeme McPherson's head lad Mick Finn about a possible ride.
It proved a life-changing decision because now Molloy finds himself as stable jockey at Martins Hill stable near Stow-on-the-Wold, following Jodie Mogford's retirement from riding and appointment as McPherson's assistant.
"Graeme had a horse entered in a conditional jockeys chase at Towcester and I rang Mick Finn, the head lad, and asked who was riding it," recalled Molloy.
Sunday and Monday evenings £12.00 per head for an all inclusive meal with Indian and Thai cuisine (normal price £14.50).
Bring this voucher to the restaurant complete with your name and email address on it.
Terms: Expires 31st July
Contact: 01452 223782
Valid until: Wednesday, July 31 2013
"He said they had no-one, so I came in and rode out and ever since then they haven't been able to get rid of me!
"For the first season I came in for a day a week and last season for two days a week. Gradually over the winter I started coming in most days and I also got a few owners that I knew to send horses here.
"So I'm helping Graeme and Graeme's helping me. I'm very lucky to have my first stable jockey job here because Graeme's not someone who will tie you down to silly instructions.
"It's definitely a team effort and everyone works together to get the job done.
"Myself, Graeme, Mick and Jodie sit around the table once a week and go through the list of horses we think are ready to run and discuss the races that are best for them to go for.
"We bounce ideas off each other and it's worked so far. The only difference is now I'll be riding most of the horses and I'm looking forward to that pressure.
"I think I ride better with a bit more pressure on me."
Molloy, formerly part of Nigel Twiston-Davies' roster of jockeys after spells with Jim Bolger in Ireland and Philips Hobbs, has not set himself any targets this season.
The 25-year-old, who lives in Winchcombe, prefers to see this campaign as an opportunity to lay the groundwork for next term.
"I think the best thing to do is just to enjoy the first season and take every ride as it comes – I'm not going to set myself any goals," he said.
"The first six months will be a bedding-in experience. I'm really looking forward to it and it will be nice to just get the ball rolling and start running a few nice horses.
"I'm going to learn more and more about every horse we have and, touch wood, we'll have a few winners, keep improving the quality and hit the ground running next season.
"This season is a foundation season and we'll aim to improve again next year."
In playing the 'long game' it reflects how Molloy has learned the benefits of not always trying to do everything too quickly since crossing the Irish Sea.
Whether it's when kicking for home in a race, or taking on a new job, he has found timing can make the difference between success and failure.
"My riding has improved a hell of a lot and I've learned patience is the main thing," said Molloy, whose rode Clerk's Choice to victory for Michael Banks at the Showcase meeting two years ago .
"Every young jockey wants a stable jockey job but I'm happy it's only happened now. I'm 25 and I'm glad it didn't happen when I was 19 because I would have lost it within a year guaranteed.
"Patience is about not getting angry, not getting upset about losing rides. Racing's very much a roundabout so don't fall out with anyone.
"I've fallen out with a few people and I've learned the hard way."
Among the horses Molloy nominated as ones to follow were winning hurdlers Tickatack and Harry Hunt, who are expected to make their marks over fences this term.
He has been twice placed aboard Tickatack and won at Bangor and Wetherby on Harry Hunt last term.
Molloy said: "Tickatack is lovely horse and I'm really looking forward to riding him in novice chases. I also think he's on a very winnable mark over hurdles at the moment, but he's going to be better over fences.
"Harry Hunt is my flagbearer at the minute. I've won twice on him and been placed six times. I schooled him the other day and he seems to be more enthusiastic over his fences."