Thursday April 26, 2012
Meet Shane Gray, 17yr old apprentice to Tommy Stack
Q: What was your first job in racing?
A: My first job was with George Kingston who is based in Drogheda, my father used to work for him so I started going in with Dad aged 10 or 11 and worked there at weekends and school holidays. It was great to ride a winner for George recently in Dundalk on Gan Locht.
Q: How long have you been attached to the Stack team?
A: I came here in 2010 aged 15yrs old. Shauna O’ Connor a friend of mine was working for the Stacks and called me to say I should come to work for them and so I did. I loved it from the word go and was delighted when I officially signed on as an apprentice in November 2010.
Q: What height and weight are you?
A: I don’t know what height I am!!! I think about 5 foot 3 or 5 foot 4. At the moment I am 7stone 13lbs, I am really happy with my weight, long may that continue!
Q: Who is the best rider you have ever ridden against?
A: Michael Kinane was retiring when I started, I would have loved to have ridden against him as growing up he would have been a hero of mine. Wayne Lordan and Johnny Murtagh are two other riders I admire and Billy Lee. Billy and Wayne have been a great help to me since I started.
Q: What do you do in your down time?
A: I love going home to Dundalk and catching up with family and friends. I don’t drink or smoke so I’m usually the taxi for friends on a night out. I must admit I love going dancing.
Q: What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
A: Wayne Lordan had a good one for me recently “If you take it, you’ll make it” that’s one I will remember. Tommy Stack is always offering words of advice- he is always encouraging me.
Q: What is the funniest thing you have seen on the racecourse.
A: Recently in Limerick they had a student race night with massive crowds. Joseph O’ Brien and I went to watch a race in our racing gear and we got approached by a group of girls wearing very short dresses wanting to take a picture with us. It was picked up by At The Races cameras and we got a right slagging!
Q: OK you have the power to change one thing in Irish Racing what would it be?
A: More prize money would be nice.
Q: What’s your favourite meal?
A: Steak- Medium Rare.
Q: What annoys you?
A: It was very annoying and still is that At The Races always get my name wrong. I have a brother called Stephan who rides over jumps and every time I ride they put his name up on the captions instead of mine. I have asked them to change it lots as I get lots of phone calls from trainers confusing us but they have yet to change it.
Q: You have ridden 15 winners so far, what has been the most memorable one?
A: My first winner, Blue Dahlia in a 6f handicap at The Curragh.
Q: What are your hopes for the 2012 season?
A: I want to ride plenty and get lots of experience.