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Freddy Tylicki recalls kickstarting career in John Smith’s Cup

Freddy Tylicki recalls kickstarting career in John Smith’s Cup
Freddy Tylicki recalls kickstarting career in John Smith’s Cup

Freddy Tylicki has fond memories of Flying Clarets, the 2008 John Smith’s Cup winner that played a huge part in putting him on the map.

Tylicki was still a 7lb claimer at the time, and had only moved to join Richard Fahey in Malton in January of that year.

Having started out his journey with the legendary Jim Bolger in Ireland, Tylicki, whose father Andrzej had been champion jockey in Germany three times, certainly had the right grounding to make a name for himself.

He went on to do just that, becoming the champion apprentice in 2009 and going on to ride Group One winners before his career was cruelly cut short.

Tylicki remembers that July day on the Knavesmire vividly, and despite his all-the-way success on the mare, who had been second a year earlier, he felt he kicked for home too soon!

“I think she was only my fourth or fifth career win, so a big race like that so early was absolutely massive for me,” said Tylicki.

Freddy Tylicki salutes the crowd as Flying Clarets crosses the line
Freddy Tylicki salutes the crowd as Flying Clarets crosses the line (Martin Rickett/PA)

“To have a ride in such a prestigious handicap like that was amazing; I was a 7lb claimer, I’d only joined Mr Fahey in late January.

“She was a front-runner and she was all heart, but I think I kicked way too early – thankfully she was all guts and kept battling on. It was a fantastic day and she was the one who got me rolling properly.

“That was the only time I ever rode her and I remember a couple of challengers coming at me, but she just kept pulling out more.

“To win such a huge handicap at York was pretty cool, I have to say, it was a great feeling, everyone was happy, the syndicate who owned her (Matthewman Partnership) were over the moon, which was great.”

The race takes place on a typically crowded Saturday afternoon shared by the July Cup at Newmarket and the Summer Mile at Ascot but perhaps as a result, the list of winning jockeys has a history of falling to apprentice riders.

Fahey had provided Paul Hanagan with his first major win in the same race in 2002 aboard Vintage Premium before Jamie Moriarty in 2007 on Charlie Tokyo, while jockeys like Martin Lane (Wigmore Hall 2010), Adam Beschizza (Green Destiny 2011), Thomas Brown (Educate 2016) and Freddie Larson last year on Pride Of America have all showcased their talents to a much wider audience.

The day has often come in for criticism for too much quality racing in a short space of time, but Tylicki sees both sides of the argument.

“I suppose when you look at it from either side, if you are an active jockey, you think it is great because it might just open up a new door for you,” he said.

“There are lads waiting for a good Saturday horse to come along and if your first, second and third-choice jockeys are elsewhere, there are other lads looking to do the job and it’s about taking that opportunity.

“But on the other hand, looking at owners and trainers, the bigger yards tend to have four or five lads regularly riding out and they are looking for continuity. There are plusses and minuses on both sides.”

Tylicki still speaks fondly of his time with Fahey and remains very thankful the trainer took a chance on him.

“You knew where you were with Richard, he was straight down the line. He was great for me,” he said.

“I had done three and a half years at Jim Bolger’s and he was the one who made me streetwise, but when I arrived at Musley Bank I was ready to go.

“To claim off all those horses, he had a lot of handicappers, and Richard wasn’t shy to make use of claimers if they were good enough. Luckily, I was ready.

“Richard also made Paul Hanagan champion apprentice and it’s a great place for a young jockey because he gives you a chance.”

Freddy Tylicki is now a TV pundit and bloodstock agent
Freddy Tylicki is now a TV pundit and bloodstock agent (Mike Egerton/PA)

That day in 2008 propelled Tylicki into the wider racing world and for that reason Flying Clarets will always be remembered fondly.

“I was the new kid on the block after that win and it certainly opened up a lot more doors for me,” he said.

Now Tylicki is a regular face as a pundit on Sky Sports Racing and he is also a bloodstock agent, with his claim to fame in that role to date coming as the buyer of the James Fanshawe-trained Derby runner-up Ambiente Friendly, who went on to be third in the Irish version.

“He’s a horse that has made everyone very proud. I suppose he didn’t stay on the day (in the Irish Derby) against a horse like Los Angeles, but he lost nothing in defeat,” he said.

“Second at Epsom, third in the Irish Derby, they are very hard races to win, they are Classics, so you can’t be disappointed. I’m not sure what’s next, I leave that to the team but on what he has achieved, you cannot be disappointed.

“It was the right race to run in in Ireland, it was his last chance to win a Derby and the Gredley family (owners) were very keen to go in against his own age group, they had to roll the dice.

“Hopefully he stays sound and in one piece – and if he does, I’m pretty sure there are plenty more good days in him. I’ve just got to try to find another one like him, but it will be hard.”

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