Norfolk teenager Fergus Gregory, from the village of Thompson near Watton, scored a terrific 83/1 double at Fakenham on Monday to make it three wins from six rides at the course this season.
Eighteen-year-old Fergus, who rides for Olly Murphy, who trained four of Monday’s six winners, has now notched up 13 wins from his 86 career starts.
“I went to Town Close School and then Langley School, both in Norfolk. I did a course when at school and I left at 16 and went to the British Racing School at Newmarket.
“I went to a point-to-point trainer in Oxfordshire and about a year ago I rode out for Olly and he offered me a job,” said Fergus, who helped at Christine Dunnett’s stables at Higham when he was 11 and also at Caroline Fryer’s yard at Wymondham.
“I’ve ridden for both of them since I began my career as a jockey and it is great to keep in touch with people who have helped me.
Fergus has ridden at both Aintree and Cheltenham. “It’s great to ride those sort of tracks. I’m only 18 and Olly is a young trainer so we have a great working relationship,” he added.
And the teenager also praised the older established jockeys. “It’s a great privilege to be in the weighing room with people like champion jockey Richard Johnson. It’s unbelievable. Richard and the other jockeys are always helpful with all of us young lads.”
Fergus finds it difficult at such an early stage of his career to set goals.
“I just want to ride as many winners as I can and keep learning the trade,” he said. But he also knows the pitfalls of the job, having been injured and sidelined for about three weeks following a pre-Christmas fall at Towcester.
However, the winners make up for that, especially at Fakenham.
“It’s great to win at Fakenham as I am a Norfolk boy and it’s really special if your family and friends and people you were at school with see you ride a winner,” he said.
Words by Terry Redhead. Photo by Roger Harris