Dominic Marchant’s Blog (Prelude to Sainte Bastien)
As I delegate my blog duties to the characters in my latest novel, Sainte Bastien, this week it may have been easier to write it myself! The main antagonist, apprentice jockey Dominic, proves typically tight-lipped:
I’ve been told to write a blog. It isn’t enough merely to ride well, one has also to smile prettily for cameras and produce blogs. I’m aware many brand me sullen, but I merely have the courtesy to think before I speak and don’t waste my time or breath on unnecessary words. I’m seventeen and I’m a jockey. If you have any interest then you’ll already know what that entails and be aware of my name. If you have no interest, you will stop reading. Either way, I appear to be wasting my time.
I’m told I must write of my daily routine. I’m in the yard by 6am, preparing the horses in my care for exercise. As an apprentice, I still have three horses to look after. As a senior rider I’ll be spared that chore. I try not to form attachments; horses have a habit of breaking hearts. I ride four or five pieces of work on the gallops for the trainer who owns my indentures. If I’m lucky, I’ll be asked to ride additional horses for other trainers, in the hope of getting a ride in a race. I desperately need more rides, on better horses.
I finish riding mid-morning, then muck out and clean tack. See the horses are bedded down comfortably in their box, or turned out in a paddock. Hopefully go to the races and get one or two race rides. Home by the evening, in bed by ten. Kill time in between by taking my mind off not eating. Maybe spend a couple of hours in the sauna. If I have eaten, then no maybe. There’s more, of course, but you won’t want to hear it, any more than I wish to share it. I’m nearly six foot and weigh less than eight stone. Draw your own conclusions.
Why do I put myself through that? Ambition, desire, need. Recognition. Respect. I got off ponies at nine and up onto my father’s racehorses. There’s no going back after that. And nothing beyond that. Life is a battle, on the racecourse, on the scales, and I need to win, at all costs.
Want to read more about Dominic and the rest of the crew? Make sure to check out Lissa Oliver’s latest book in The Skullcap Trilogy, Sainte Bastien. Be sure to keep up with the Sainte Bastien riders on the blog too; Lissa’s journalistic prowess is being put to good use as she uncovers more of their story from before the events of her new book