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Q & A with Mark Bolger

Mark Bolger has established a fine relationship with Barry O’Connell this season and they have  been enjoying some good winners so far. We catch up with Mark for a quick Q & A ahead of the opening National Hunt meeting at Naas this Saturday.

  1. You been enjoying a good season so far, how did the partnership with O’Connell come about?

It was through garret cotter who mentioned that Barry was looking for someone.  I met up with Barry in February and have been riding out for him since.

  1. Did you always want to be a jockey? When did you start riding?

No, I was a late starter, I didn’t sit on a horse until I was 14. Soccer was my main hobby when I was young.

  1. Growing up, who was your sporting hero?

I loved soccer so I would have to say Roy Keane.

  1. What sparked your love of racing?

My older brother Colin was a jockey in England so it was through him I took an interest in racing too.

  1. What was it like to ride in your first race?

Riding in my first race was a very surreal, and a great buzz.

  1. Describe the feeling of riding your first winner?

I remember I couldn’t believe that I’d actually ridden a winner. I was only 17 at the time.

  1. What is your most memorable racing moment?

My most memorable racing moment would have to be riding Keppols Queen to win a grade 3 hurdle at Leopardstown for Jessica Harrington.

  1. What is your favorite racecourse?

Navan

  1. If you weren’t a jockey what would you be?

If I wasn’t a jockey, I would have loved to been a professional soccer player.

  1. If you could win any race what would you pick?

It’s hard to pick just one! I would love to win any race at the Cheltenham Festival.

  1. If you could ride one horse, what would it be?

I would love to have a go on Altoir!