Adam Beschizza, Champion Apprentice Elect Interview

Adam Beschizza

Adam Beschizza: Fighting out the Champion Apprentice title this season

Who is the odd one out from Martin Lane, John Fahy and Adam Beschizza? All three jockeys are currently in a nail-biting battle to win this season’s apprentice championship, yet one of them can boast of a remarkable achievement.

The last-named rider has become a punters’ favourite this year with his reliability when on board favourites and his strength against more experienced jockeys yet, remarkably, unlike the rest of his championship rivals, he is only in his first full season with a licence.

Born and bred in Newmarket, 18-year old Beschizza (pronounced ‘biscuit-sir’) has long been touted by those closest to him as a future star. After learning to ride on ponies, he graduated to bigger and faster animals when he was 13 years old and is now based with his aunt, Julia Feilden.

Ross Birkett managed to have a chat with him during a busy day’s racing at Lingfield Park:

RB: You have ridden 35 winners in your first season riding, could you ever have imagined things to go so well?

AB: Obviously, I’d hoped to get a few winners and start picking up rides from outside trainers but it’s amazed me how far I’ve come in my first season. You know, I had my first winner in March and if you’d said then that by the end of the year I’d have ridden nearly 40 winners and for people like the Queen, I’d have been shocked.

RB: What are your plans to take this progress further?

AB: Well, you know, the main target at the minute is to win the apprentice championship. Martin [Lane] will be hard to catch as he’s five ahead of me [on 38 wins] and he rides for a big yard like David Simcock but he picked up a four day ban today [Tuesday], so I could catch him up if I’m lucky.

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After this season, I’m hoping to go to Florida for a couple of months to ride track work. It will be good to get away from the all-weather racing for a bit and I will improve my riding a hell of a lot out there and come back fresh and ready for the new year.

RB: Who has been the biggest help to you this year?

AB: Obviously, Julia [Feilden] has got me started and been great in letting me ride for other people but all the trainers have played a part in getting me this far. My agent, Paul Clarke, has got me some good rides for big trainers like Michael Bell and Roger Charlton.

Some of the jockeys keep themselves to themselves but William Buick has always been there to give me advice. I respect him because he had success quite early in his career and now has a good job with John Gosden.

RB: You have already ridden at 28 different racecourses this year, do you have a favourite?

AB: I seem to ride a lot of winners at Bath [seven, with a 30% strike-rate] and I do like riding the track but you can have a good day there, get in the car to go home and realise you have three hours to go, which is a bit depressing. Obviously, Newmarket is nice to ride at because it’s local and there’s top racing there.

I hate Southwell because the kick-back is so bad if you’re in behind and the course at Epsom is a bit of a gaff-track. [Though Adam still managed to win the Apprentice Derby there].

RB: And any favourite horses?

AB: Obviously, I rode my first winner on Bavarica so she is a favourite of mine but I have also won lots on Poppanan [trained by Simon Dow and owned by Joe Cole] and Rough Rock [trained by Chris Dwyer].

RB: You have also ridden the geegeez.co.uk syndicate horse Khajaaly twice, what is your opinion of him?

AB: I used to ride him at Ed Dunlop’s before I got a licence and, you know, I’ve always liked him. When Julia bought him, he had had a long season with Ed and since his break, he has been going a lot better. Actually, I galloped him this morning and he felt like a different horse. There was a lot more life in him than before.

RB: You have risen through the ranks very quickly but what has been the biggest challenge?

AB: Well, at first I was doing very light weights like 7st 13lbs and I found it hard but I was doing it because I needed to ride as much as possible and get my name in the paper. But, you know, as things picked up, I am now able to not take rides below 8st 2lbs which is a weight I can comfortably manage and be my strongest at.

RB: So what can we expect Adam Beschizza to be doing in years to come?

AB: Obviously, we will take each day as it comes but I think that when I get down to my 3lb claim [after 50 career wins], I will have to move to a bigger yard where I’ll get rides when I do lose my claim. Julia understands this and it is all part of the plan.

I would love to win a Classic like all jockeys and just to be riding winners regularly and making a living out of being a jockey is my dream.

[My thanks to Ross Birkett for conducting this interview and providing the report]

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18 replies
  1. Avatar
    Darrin Clark says:

    Hi Matt

    That reminds me. Dawn (my wife) is part of the Baggsy syndicate and we haven’t heard anything about her in months! Is she due to run anytime soon as she only appears to have run a couple of times this year and not at all since our stable day in May (as far as I can remember).

    Would be good to hear some news.

    Cheers for now and best wishes.

    Darrin

  2. Avatar
    Carl says:

    A nice honest and interesting write.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading the interview and I wish Adam Beschizza all the best in his Championship challenge.

    Carl

    • Avatar
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Thanks Carl

      He’s a good, down to earth lad. Incidentally, he’s riding Always De One this afternoon. ADO will be sporting, for the first time, Geegeez.co.uk sponsorship. So, if anyone is watching the 5.10 at Brighton, look out for the red, white and blue coloured horse! 😀

      Matt

  3. Avatar
    dave foster says:

    hi.just to say to darrin.i was part of the baggsy syd,and must say,was informed the syndicate had ended when it was supposed to,but since then julia has offered by e=mail.tickets to go watch runs.which i thought was a great gesture,and agree with matt,baggsy run well tother day.

    dave f.

  4. Avatar
    Dave Boddy says:

    Hi, good interview with a really down to earth guy.
    On a completely different subject, has anyone heard of Betting Rebellion or have any feed back about them?

  5. Avatar
    Bill says:

    Matt,
    If they drop Always De One any more in the weights you could replace the jockey with a couple of bags of sugar and just slap his behind at the start!
    Bill

    • Avatar
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Bill

      Always De One actually finished 3rd yesterday at Brighton, under a fine ride from Adam. She needed the run after four months off, and it was a very encouraging performance. Hope you backed it each way, but it sounds like you didn’t. 😉

      Matt

  6. Avatar
    David Bowles says:

    Hello Matt .I was at Brighton yesterday 21st Oct and had a good day ending up with a good EW bet on the old favourite ADO.Had a chat with Julia afterwards and she was tickled pink with the 3rd place under Adam.

    The programme was not very flattering with the comment “Low grade maiden who has shown little signs of breaking her duck, including when only 5th in apprentice sellerat Yarmouth last time.

    Best regards

    David

  7. Avatar
    Bill says:

    Matt,
    I remember an old friend who used to say that about horses who were lowly rated and it made me laugh. I wasn’t being offensive intentionally. I didn’t have anything on yesterday. Having a ton on each way would have cost over a grand this year!! When does the syndicate run until?
    Bill

    • Avatar
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Bill

      It’s no problem, no offense taken 😉

      Re syndicate, ADO is our ‘old’ syndicate horse and, while she still runs in the Geegeez colours (thanks to our very understanding trainer), we do not pay the bills! Our horse, Khajaaly, is back in work and looking much improved. The syndicate runs until end of June next year and, due to a couple of non-paying scrotes who shall remain nameless, there are a couple of shares available for the rest of the term at the reduced price of £525 (what the two reprobates owed).

      That gets you 2% all in, and you’ll be able to attend racing whenever, as well as join us for our Spring ‘jolly up’ in Newmarket, on 14th May.

      If you – or any other reader – is interested, please contact me directly on info@geegeez.co.uk

      Matt

  8. Avatar
    Bill says:

    Matt,
    I’m on a fireman’s pension so I’m not rich but I might be interested. How many syndicate members are there? Is it 50 at £525 a head? You mention “reduced price”? Horses rated 45-52 usually cost 3 or 4 thousand to buy and the same again to keep in training. What is the syndicate spending the other 20 grand on? More horses?
    Bill

    • Avatar
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Bill,

      Actually, I shouldn’t bother, but you’ve really got my back up.

      We bought Khajaaly, the club horse for 9,000 guineas, and we pay 1250 a month plus VAT for training (which is extremely competitive in Newmarket, where our boy is trained). Then there are heath taxes (to gallop on Newmarket heath) of 100 a month, jockey’s fees of another hundred quid, race entry fees at 40 a throw, and so on.

      So, you do the maths. 15,000 training, 1200 heath tax, say eight runs equals another 1200, 10,000 for the horse (because as I’m sure you know, a guinea is more than a pound), making 27,500 or thereabouts.

      Obviously, all these costs are ex VAT, which I claim back for the club. As you’ll now understand, this is for people who love racing and want to get closer to the action (like David B for instance), and not really for people who think they know things they don’t.

      Matt (thoroughly p****d off)

  9. Avatar
    David Bowles says:

    Matt. I hope you do not think I am one of those none paying scrotes as you were fully aware that I was not joining this year and went to Brighton under my own steam still showing an interest in ADO.

    I will however concider the rest of the seasons offer and will let you know by Monday yes or no.

    Regards

    David

    • Avatar
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi David

      No, absolutely not!!!

      These were two people who signed up on the four installment plan, and then defaulted after the first payment.

      Of course, it was no problem at all for people to decide not to renew this year.

      Best,
      Matt

  10. Avatar
    Bill says:

    David,
    Why was Julia Fielden tickled pink with Always De One yesterday? The horse was in the weakest of races and she finished 6 lengths behind a horse she’ll be 6lb inferior to come spring. You could have bought her for a hundred quid yesterday. Less probably. Julia might even have paid you to take her.
    Bill

    • Avatar
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Bill

      Forgive me, but you clearly know nothing of racehorse ownership. I’ve been involved in ownership for ten years, and I can tell you the following:

      1. Julia was delighted because she retained the faith by keeping ADO in training, and has had her first small reward from a horse who hadn’t run for four months and was expecting to need the run badly.
      2. Your grasp of racing finances is, at best, terrible. ADO, or any other Class 6 racer, would cost at least two grand and more likely four plus.
      3. As for training costs for a year being three to four grand, are you out of your mind? Seriously?! I run the club as not for profit and, in point of fact, when defaulters occur I end up paying more in.

      Frankly, and forgive me for saying this, I don’t want people in the syndicate whose perceptions and expectations are unmanageable.

      Regards,
      Matt

      p.s. if you know of a trainer that will do a year’s training for less than ten grand, let alone the offensive number you typed, do let me know!

  11. Avatar
    David Bowles says:

    To Bill

    I think you should try understand what horseracing is all all about at this level. It is not particularly to do with money or the winning of it, No , I believe it is more to do with the heart.

    When I saw ADO comming in to the third place enclosure after the race and seeing Julias face I could have cried.

    All the way home on the train I could not help thinking about telling poeple in my local pub that that ,No Hoper, ADO had finished third ,all be it in a low grade race. You see I was so proud of this small victory in the last race of the season at Brighton.

    All the above was worth the Train fare and admission price etc, and for me at least it was like winning the Derby.

    “What is it about the track that keeps drawing us back ? why is this this place ,with all its losses are so pleasing ”

    “We are all fools for joining in the most riskiest of games.But perhaps in some small way we are all the more alive for it ”

    The above two sentences were extracted from a book written about another no hoper .Sea Biscuit.

    If you cant get emotionally involved Bill, I suggest you stay away from racing at this level.

    Best Regards

    David

    As for me ,I like Julia had the greatest thrill seeing old ADO come third.

    I know he is a bottom grade horse but I do not really care,dont you see there is more to horseracing than the money

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