IF ever there was a surname synonymous with point-to-pointing, it would be Andrews. And the latest member of the Andrews dynasty to make their presence well and truly known is Jack, who claimed the men’s national title last season, despite it being cut short by three months due to Covid.
“It will always be in black and white that I was champion jockey in the 2019/20 season and that was the way I told myself I had to look at it,” says 22-year-old Jack pragmatically. “A lot of people said I earned it and I feel proud of it, but there’s definitely an overriding feeling that I want to do it in a full season to try to get more satisfaction from it.”
Jack was five winners clear of his nearest rival when the curtain fell on the season early last March.
“There’s nothing better than going down to Umberleigh on the last day of the season, knowing you’re going to be crowned champion. I managed to experience that when I won the novice title in 2017. The whole chase through the season, trying to fend off rivals or trying to catch the one at the top right up until the final day – I missed that feeling in 2020,” he says.
A defining point of Jack’s winning season was when he bagged 11 winners from 18 rides over the course of two weeks. This purple patch culminated in riding a four-timer at Ampton, a day he pinpoints as the highlight of his career.
“I went from being four or five off the leader, and looking like I wouldn’t challenge, to being three or four in front,” explains Jack, saying he doesn’t set out to win a title, just to see how he gets on. “Then all of a sudden, people said they were going to get behind me in an effort to try to help make winning the championship happen.
“I was riding at a 33% strike rate, which was ridiculous considering historically I was probably riding at half of that percentage. I’m quite good at getting on the phone, trying to pick up rides.”
JACK follows in the footsteps of his two older sisters, with Gina, 29, and Bridget, 28, both taking ladies’ championship titles – Gina has seven to her name so far. Bridget is now a professional jockey and married to fellow jockey Harry Skelton, son of Olympian Nick. Gina is married to Tom Ellis, and they train a yard of around 40 pointers. But a big sticking point for Jack while growing up was to shake off the label of being “Gina and Bridget’s brother”.
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