Jockey Nicola Currie reveals there are 'a lot' of days she can't eat ANYTHING as she lays bare brutal daily diet

JOCKEY Nicola Currie has revealed there are 'a lot' of days where she can't eat ANYTHING as part of the brutal diet needed to succeed in racing.

Jockeys are famed for their small, light frames, which help them win races when travelling at speeds of up to 40mph on horses that weigh half a tonne.


AP McCoy – who has broken just about every bone in his body – said he and others knew they were in a dangerous sport because ambulances followed them round everywhere.

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But it turns out the toughest part of the job day in, day out could be the gruelling diet.

Currie recently revealed what an average day's grub looks like – when she can allow herself to eat anything at all.

She told ITV racing presenter Oli Bell how the day starts with a single piece of toast, 'hopefully' accompanied by a slither of jam.

However, there is a strict limit on just one piece because bread is 'quite filling' and 'not the best thing' to eat.

A black coffee can wash that down.

Scrambled eggs (no toast, no sauces) could follow providing there is not too much weight to be lost for an upcoming race.

Then dinner will be salmon cooked in lemon juices with rice. No dessert. No glass of wine after a hard day's work.


Currie said she eats dinner at 5.30pm to help with her metabolism.

The Professional Jockeys Association are on hand to set up meal plans and riders can benefit from a load of nutritional help and guidance.

But Currie said she has worked hers out for herself, knowing what she can and can't eat for her body.

However, asked if there are occasions when she might be starved of food altogether, Currie, who was racing at Royal Ascot last week, replied: "Definitely.

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"If I had been coming up to these races a bit heavier I wouldn't have been able to eat anything today.

"Luckily I had some yoghurt this morning – with a 30-minute run on the treadmill to work it off.

"But there are a lot of days where I won't have anything to eat.

"I'll maybe just have a sip of water or a cup of sugary tea before going out to ride to give you that energy boost."

Currie said she was in a fortunate situation being slender anyway, and that making weight for taller male jockeys can be hell.

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She added: "We're athletes, we have to be fit and healthy and ready to go.

"But we have weights to make, so it's getting that balance of eating the right food, and the right amount of food so we're going to have enough strength when racing.

"For some of the taller lads, it's a full-time job for them, watching what they eat."

Frankie Dettori used to get by on half a Mars bar a day to maintain weight.

It can get too much for some riders, though.

Former Grand National winner Ryan Mania quit just 18 months after winning the world's famous race because he could not hack dieting anymore.

Fortunately he has since returned to the saddle after coming up with a new food plan that has left him feeling 'stronger than ever'.

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