Luke Morris was yesterday hailed as Britain’s hardest working jockey – having ridden a staggering 639 races already this year – an average of four a day.
Luke, 23, regularly clocks up more than 60,000 miles a year travelling to hundreds of races the length and breadth of the country to compete in events. He has taken just five days holiday this year – and last year rode a staggering 100 more races than the second busiest jockey. Luke thinks nothing of driving a 500 mile round trip for one race – and his monthly fuel bill alone tops £1,100.
Yesterday single Luke, who has earned racehorse owners an incredible £2.5million during his career, said: ”I have only had my new Audi for eight months but I have done 55,000 miles.
”Before that I had a BMW 3 Series in which I racked up 150,000 miles in just over two years.
”I do it because I’m hungry. I want the opportunity to ride in the big races and to do that I have to raise my profile.
Luke, who lives in Newmarket, Cambs. added: ”Last year I rode 100 more races than anyone else.”
”I love my job, but sometimes all the travelling catches up with me. Often I get home at 11.30 at night and have to leave again early in the morning for another race.”
Luke began riding professionally at the age of 16 and rode his first winner when he was 17, in just his eighth race. Since then he has competed in 4,715 races winning 439 of them, including the Qatar Prix De L’Abbaye De Longchamp aboard Gilt Edge Girl for trainer Clive Cox and the John Smith’s Northumberland Plate aboard Juniper Girl for trainer Michael Bell.
He reckons diesel alone costs him £1,000 per month, and he has worked his way through thousands of pounds worth of tyres. Luke often travels alone but from time to time will use a driver or share a car with fellow jockeys.
His only holiday was earlier this year when he went to Dubai to unwind for five days. So far Luke has suffered a minimal number of falls and only has a broken collar bone to show for his troubles.
Luke added: ”I wanted to be a jockey from the age of six or seven, so I have always had tunnel vision in that respect.
”One day I hope to ride in the Derby or a big race like that.
”I am hoping by riding as much as I can my number of wins will increase and when that happens I will get better opportunities to ride better horses in better races.”
Yesterday a spokesman for Racing for Change described Luke as the only jockey who spends more time sitting in a saddle than on his sofa.
And he added: ”Luke’s quite literally ‘driven’ by the sport.
”He’ll go any distance for a winning ride and is hugely conscientious so it can only be a matter of time before he gets that elusive ride in the Epsom Derby.”