Friday, March 1, 2024

Meet the world’s tallest jockey! Jack Andrews is 6ft 4in and is riding at Cheltenham

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Jack Andrews, a 6ft 4in jockey, is set to make his Cheltenham Festival debut later today aboard Anightinlambourn in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir National Hunt Chase at 5:30pm.

The 24-year-old is of an unconventional build for a jockey, standing more than a foot taller than the average height of a professional UK rider, which is 5ft 2in. 

Hailing from a racing-mad family, with both his mother and father, Joanna and Simon, having been handy amateurs in their day, Andrews will be racing against his sister, Gina, who will ride Slipway on Thursday.

She stands at 5ft 7in, a height some might consider lofty for a jockey at the Cheltenham Festival.

Andrews also has a ride on Friday, in the race that immediately follows the Gold Cup at 4:10pm, aboard Not That Fuisse.

Jack Andrews – who stands at 6ft 4in – will ride Anightinlambourn on Thursday at Cheltenham 

The jockey is more than a foot taller than the average height of his fellow jockeying fraternity

The jockey is more than a foot taller than the average height of his fellow jockeying fraternity

Speaking to the Jockey Club’s social media channels last year, Andrews outlined the difficulties he has faced in achieving his dream of becoming a professional jockey.

‘I grew up in a big racing family, point-to-point background, both my sisters ride, Gina’s a champion jockey in point-to-pointing and Bridget’s obviously a very successful professional,’ he told the Jockey Club last year.

‘It was one of those I didn’t really have an option. I was probably 5ft 10in when I had my first ride so I was okay and then when I got to about 17 I really shot up again and that is when I got quite tall,’ he added.

‘There was a fear I might not be able to make it as I grew up thinking I would be a professional rider when I was older.

‘When I was sort of 18 and 19 I got very heavy, I didn’t think it was reality (riding professionally), even if it was something that I always dreamt of doing.’

‘When my weight became good over the last few years, I thought why not,’ he said. ‘And I enjoy every minute of it, getting paid to do something I love.’ 

A key part of a jockey’s day-to-day life is ensuring they don’t allow their weight to go over a certain limit. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) last year increased the jumps’ jockey weight allow from 11st 12lb to 12st.

Asked if he had difficulties in keeping below that threshold, Andrews said that he had a naturally light frame, despite his height.

‘It is a daily thing that I have to constantly keep an eye on, I try to eat the right things; I try to eat regularly but eat the right things,’ he said. 

‘Obviously there’s a few cheat days every now and then like anyone. I must be quite light naturally anyway, quite a light frame.’

Andrews is much taller than the average British jockey's height - which is 5ft 2in

Andrews is much taller than the average British jockey’s height – which is 5ft 2in

Gina Andrews - one of Jack's sisters - is a champion jockey in point-to-pointing and will race against him on Thursday

Gina Andrews – one of Jack’s sisters – is a champion jockey in point-to-pointing and will race against him on Thursday

Last year, he partnered 140 mounts, winning 16 races at a strike rate of 11 per cent. He raked in just shy of £250,000 in prize money as a result. The season before, he had ridden 11, with two wins at a strike rate of 18 per cent.

Racing against Gina, his sister, he will be aiming to achieve something that she, and their other sibling, Bridget, herself a very accomplished jockey, has already done: ride a Festival winner.

‘Gina and Bridget have both ridden a Festival winner, so I’d love to ride a winner at the Festival. That’s the aim,’ he said.

‘The big one I want to tick off the bucket list is to ride a Festival winner. It would be a brilliant achievement.’

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