Wimbledon ace Sir Andy Murray has been spotted enjoying the racing at the Cheltenham Festival and, while he’s too busy to follow the sport while he’s playing tennis, could racehorse ownership be a new pastime for the Olympic champion?
“It’s not on the list right now!” he told Nick. “I really enjoyed my day out at Cheltenham, although I didn’t win much money!”
But Andy’s mother Judy Murray has since hinted that when her son brings down the curtain on his outstanding tennis career, he may be keen to follow his friend Sir Alex Ferguson, who has horses with Paul Nicholls and Dan Skelton, into racehorse ownership.
“I wonder whether it’s something the boys [Andy and his brother Jamie] might enjoy doing as a joint venture in years to come,” said Judy, who was bitten by the racing bug several years ago and was spotted at Aintree racecourse recently.
“I know that Andy and Jamie are both great friends with Sir Alex Ferguson and it’s something that he’s really big into. Andy went to Cheltenham a couple of years ago and he thoroughly enjoyed that, and while they’re both far too busy while they’re still playing, you never know.”
“I was invited to Musselburgh with my family a few years ago and it was then that I realised what a fabulous day out it is for the whole family – whether you know anything about racing or not,” she added.
“We could all have a flutter by either studying the form or by picking names or colours that we liked and it was really good fun. You meet so many fascinating people at the races and to be able to see the horses close up at the parade ring is such a thrill.”
‘We need female role models like Rachael Blackmore’
Andy also told Nick Skelton in H&H that he was really impressed by Rachael Blackmore’s performance when winning the Grand National in April.
“It’s great to see Rachael rising to the top of the sport,” he said.
His mother Judy agrees. “I’m a huge promoter of women’s sport and women in sport, so watching Rachael was just incredible,” she said. “We need female role models and you know that women have to be at the absolute top of their game in order to be accepted and recognised and what she’s done is right up there.
“Racing is special because it’s one of those sports where women can compete on a level playing field with men and Rachael’s success will inspire many women and girls to get involved in the sport, because if you can see it you can believe it.
“Women like Rachael become the role models that you want young women and girls to aspire to. If you excel in your sport it comes from a position of things like discipline, routine, resilience and goal-setting and there are just so many life skills that you can get out of being involved in sport.
“When you get to the very top of a sport it really shows people what that commitment can achieve if it pays off. So women like Rachael and Emma Raducanu inspire that desire to have a go, but it also instills a belief in people already playing sport that women can do it.”
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