Name: Cara McGoldrick
From: Portnaglenone, Antrim
It was a day to remember at Dromahane for rider Cara McGoldrick who partnered her first point-to-point winner aboard the Ellen Doyle trained Woodbrook Boy.
How did you get involved with horses?
I always rode ponies when I was younger, it was actually a neighbour of mine that got me into ponies in the first place.
Horses were never really a big part of our family apart from my Grandad who had a few work horses around the farm.
I only really got started with racehorses, coming up four years now. I went into Conways and had a bit of a summer job there but didn’t do a whole lot of riding out.
I then saw that Colin McKeever was looking for staff, so I rang him and went there and ended up staying for three seasons. I only actually only left there a couple of weeks ago.
Where are you based now?
I ride out for James and Ellen Doyle four days a week and then free lance up the north, going here there and everywhere.
I would go to the likes of the Moira Schooling days, which are really well supported in particular this year, they have done plenty of work there and it now attracts the likes of Gordon Elliott and Gavin Cromwell who bring plenty to work.
How did you come about going to James and Ellen Doyles?
It was actually during the summer, I just got talking to a few people that work in the yard and they said while your quiet in the North why don’t you come down have a bit of craic over the summer and see how you get on.
So I went down for a couple of days and it was just class, I fell in love with it. I then said to James and Ellen if they were happy to have me, I would try and organise to come down a few days a week.
So that’s when I started going down there, I go down four days a week and then do three days at home in the north.
Who are you currently working or riding out for in the North?
So I still ride for Colin McKeever, do a bit for Caroline McCaldin and then just for whoever needs me at the Moira schooling days.
You must have been delighted to get your first winner on the board?
It was brilliant to get my first winner especially on Woodbrook Boy who is my own horse. I bought him at the Doncaster sales last October.
James and Ellen very kindly let me keep him at their yard.
I’m just delighted it all worked out ok, I had done a bit of research before I bought him but you never really know what your getting. He is an absolute dude of a horse, he is so enjoyable.
What is the plan for him?
He will stay point-to-pointing and hopefully maybe win or run into a couple of placings, that would be brilliant.
We will look at the likes of those ladies opens or novice riders races and give us every chance we can. He is really loving his job there at the minute which is great.
Were many of your family there on the day?
Mammy and Daddy would have always come to watch me but on this particular day they couldn’t come which is typical, they were devastated. I didn’t expect them to come down as Cork would have been a five hour journey down.
They have the video and have watched it multiple times now! So it’s nearly as if they were there.
Who is your biggest influence in racing?
Not an original answer but you would have to say Rachael Blackmore. Look everyone has to start somewhere. I actually saw a video of Rachael riding her first winner for Shark up on social media and to see the difference from then to now is just incredible for Rachael. So even if you just go on that, you just have to tell yourself, look you have to start somewhere.
Did you always want to take out your Qualified Riders License?
To be truthful, the first year and half I was with Colin McKeever I had absolutely no notion in taking out my licence at all. It was probably after two and half years that people started to mention it to me, would you not even get it even to say that you did it.
So, I just said I may as well give it a go and see how I get on. I was doing schooling and all, I seemed to get on very well at it so I said I may as well go for it.
I certainly don’t regret it now, it’s just made me hungrier after the winner.
Have you any ambitions for this season?
I would love to ride one or two more winners or even run into the placings and just hopefully have a bit of fun this season anyway and take it from there. I would love to ride out for a few more people and get my name out there a little bit more. I will just take it all as it comes, there is no point in putting mad pressure on myself.
The more winners the better I suppose!
Any up and coming jockey that you think we should be an eye out for?
Darragh Higgins, I’d say he is one to watch out for. I work with him in James and Ellens. This year he has just taken off, he has 3 or 4 winners there before Christmas and I just think he is very switched on and he knows what he is talking about so I think he one to watch out for.
Have you any interests outside of racing?
I ride a few half-breds around home and would follow the show-jumping, I used to play camogie but I just don’t have the time now with the horses.