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Saturday, 20 October, 2018

'There are no rules on the roads in India – it's bravest man first'

Jockeys riding overseas this winter describe their lifestyles

David Allan: "It's relaxing. I enjoy the sun and can play golf in nice weather"
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Living and riding abroad is a unique experience – we get a taste of just how different it is to riding at home thanks to David Allan in India, Adam Beschizza in the United States and Declan McDonogh in Australia. . .

David Allan – India

Where do you live and what's the accommodation like?
I'm based in Bangalore. They have me in a rented flat in a big tower complex. It has its own gym, sauna and swimming pool. It's a good spot to live in India.

How does a typical day unfold?
If I'm not racing I'll go to work and ride out 12 to 13 horses in two hours. After that I'll play golf and go back home. Otherwise I'll be up and ride out same as normal and go to the races to ride. It's pretty  hot to be honest. You're looking at 30C-plus.

How do you spend your downtime?
I just play golf, and it's a bit the same in England.

When do you see/speak to your family, or are they with you?
I can speak to them on Facetime. It's quite late in India when I speak to them. I speak to my daughter when she's finished school. My girlfriend was out with me last winter and she's coming out again at the end of this month until I come back.

Do you do any tourism?
I did last year when my girlfriend came. We went to the Taj Mahal, which was something I'd never really bothered with before. We went to a few castles. It was more than I'd done in the previous eight years.

What do you eat?
I don't eat any Indian food because I don't like spicy food. But there are lots of good restaurants. Otherwise I cook for myself.

What do you watch or listen to?
There are quite a lot of sports channels out here. Because of the time difference I generally have to record the football and watch it the day after.

What do you drive?
I did drive once and didn't enjoy it. There are no rules on the roads in India, it's the bravest man first. I have a driver now.

What do you miss most from home?
I miss company, because I spend most of my time on my own.

What do like most about where you are?
It's relaxing. I enjoy the sun and can play golf in nice weather – and riding winners keeps the confidence up.

Adam Beschizza – United States 

Where do you live and what's the accommodation like?
I've been riding for Joe Sharp at Fair Grounds, New Orleans, since November and have ridden 32 winners. I'm living on the outskirts in a place called Metairie in a condo complex. It overlooks the Lake Pontchartrain causeway and is a pretty nice place.

How does a typical day unfold?
The track opens at 5.45am and I generally ride five to seven horses through the morning before sorting out any weight that needs to be lost for the rides. I'm pretty much on the go all day, so by the time racing is over recuperation is needed at home.

How do you spend your downtime?
We race four to five days a week, so there are a couple of days a week to relax but, being here only three months, I find there's always something that needs sorting.

Adam Beschizza: "New Orleans is a big and beautiful city full of history and culture"

When do you see/speak to your family, or are they with you?
I've no family here with me – I must call my mother!

Do you do any tourism?
This is my third visit to New Orleans, so I've done most of the touristy bits. That's not to say it isn't a big and beautiful city full of history and culture.

What do you eat?
I'm a jockey, so not a lot, but the food is sensational, mostly fried. When the oysters are in season they are definitely a must.

What do you watch or listen to?
I live with David Carroll, who is now assistant to Mark Casse. David, who is from Ireland, was a trainer for 22 years. His career spanned nearly 500 winners and he has countless accounts of the sweet and the bitter. He's a great mentor and I find myself listening more to his wit and wisdom than watching bad TV.

What do you drive?
I bought a scooter the other month. I live only five minutes from the track and it's the one place I race, so it's pretty convenient. 

What do you miss most from home?
The racing in England. It can get a bit one-dimensional riding the same track every day. I'll always be a home boy at heart.

What do like most about where you are?
The prize-money.

Declan McDonogh – Australia

Where do you live and what's the accommodation like?
I began my stint in mid-November and will return on February 19. I'm living in Coogee, Sydney, right on the beach. Hugh Bowman lives two minutes down the road with his wife Christine, who is also Irish. I'm living in what they call a unit – we would call it an apartment. When you're living on the doorstep of the ocean you could never complain.

How does a typical day unfold?
The alarm goes off at 3.30am to get into yards for 4am. I ride out for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott as well as Peter and Paul Snowden in the morning. After you finish there it's a case of making sure you're the correct weights for your rides later in the day. That's actually quite easy in this heat – it was touching 41C at one of the barrier trials I was at recently. I'd be lost without an app called Waze, which is like Google Maps but better. I'd never have found some of the country tracks but for that.

Declan McDonogh: "I've had the time of my life. I've gone snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. I've been to the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge"

How do you spend your downtime?
I swim most days and do a lot of running. I try to go to the gym as much as I can too. 

When do you see/speak to your family, or are they with you?My wife, Eimear, was over for five weeks and went home recently. We don't live in each other's ear, so it's a case of texting each other when we can. She's a busy woman with her job. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Do you do any tourism?
Absolutely. I've had the time of my life. I've gone snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. I have been to the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well. We're heading up to Hughie Bowman's home place and spending two nights there. He has a farm in Dunedoo with horses and cattle, so that will be mighty craic.

What do you eat?
The food is flawless and luckily I can eat just about anytime. Given where I'm based the seafood is always to die for. 

What do you watch or listen to?
Foo Fighters and The War On Drugs are two of my favourite bands. I went to see Foo Fighters in the ANZ Stadium and have also seen The War On Drugs here. 

What do you drive?
Hyundai i20.

What do you miss most from home?
My dog Winnie. She's a German Shepherd and I miss her terribly. 

What do you like most about where you are?
The lifestyle and the heat. You'd have to admire the way Australians run racing, although it's a lot easier when you have the weather. People want to go racing when it's warm.


If you are interested in this, you might also like:

McDonogh heading to Australia with a little help from Winx's jockey 

Ex-champion McDonogh to ride as freelance in 2018 as Oxx takes new approach

Beschizza living an American dream

You have to admire the way Australians run racing, although it is a lot easier when you have the weather. People want to go racing when it's warm
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