Veteran laments ‘shocking’ state of young jockeys
Hall of Fame jockey Brent Thomson has reiterated comments he made on social media about the standard of riding in Toowoomba, but said he would be willing to offer advice should his services be warranted.
On Saturday night, Thomson took aim at the riding he saw at Toowoomba via a post on Twitter, describing it as "shocking," before saying it was something that can be fixed very easily.
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I’m not sure why we have to see The lack of Professional jockeys in QLD Toowoomba on a Saturday night, shocking. Why are these jockeys not shown how it is done? Not their fault, no guidelines I’d be able to change that in 5 minutes flat, 💯— Brent Thomson (@dulcifybp) December 7, 2019
"I don't like to be scathing, I don't know what they do with apprentices, but it doesn't seem to be working," Thomson told The Courier-Mail Sunday.
"It's not something impossible to improve, it's a case of implementing (the right teaching programs).
"You don't want people criticising the racing. If these younger generations are just thrown to the wolves, get a license and away you go, that doesn't work and getting the most out of your ability is most unlikely."
Thomson, who spent two years at the back end of his career based in Queensland and is now the Victorian rep for New Zealand Bloodstock, said it was clear watching the Toowoomba races some jockeys struggled with their balance.
"From an aesthetic point of view looking at those riders, trying to get the best out of them, I thought it looked very untidy," he said.
"If jockeys are bouncing all over the shop, it cannot help a horse do its best.
"Someone should look at it within the industry and see where we can make improvements to get better results from up and coming kids."
Thomson, who rode more than 2500 winners in 27 countries and was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame this year, said he "would have no problem" offering help if it was asked of him.
"It wasn't just a lash at Queensland. Queensland is not the only place. When you step outside the premier racing, you are going to see some mediocrity," he said.
Racing Queensland chief executive Brendan Parnell said he was open to having talks with Thomson and that more could always be done to improve young riders.
"We are happy to take feedback on how we can improve," he said.
"We have a desperate need to grow our apprentice numbers in Queensland and that will be a big push for us in 2020, as well as honing their skills.
"Recently we have restructured the training team and added extra resources and we will be adding more to it next year."
Thomson said young riders today had the luxury of being able to watch jockeys from all over the world simply by a search on YouTube.
"In my era, you didn't have the luxury of You Tubing someone like Frankie Dettori," he said.
"They are the tools kids should be using, to style and improve themselves just by watching these people."