Huyton-born jockey Joe Anderson has labelled the 2021/2022 campaign as the best season of his career.
Anderson completed the season with 10 winners from a total of 87 rides, an astonishing amount from a man who had not sat on a horse until he was 18.
Recording more winners is something that he was more than delighted to have done this year.
He said: “It’s been my best season numbers wise, more rides that I’ve had before, more winners than I’ve had before so the hard bit now it to keep on building on it.”
With many horses to choose from, Anderson labelled a horse that gave him so much success over the year.
He said: “Hang In There is my favourite horse to ride.
Hang In There was narrowly beaten last time out but makes no mistake on this occasion as the seven-year-old regains the winning thread by landing the Happy 18th Birthday Jamie Brister Handicap Hurdle in fine style for Joe Anderson and @ELavelleracing 🏅 pic.twitter.com/YNALLbdEkw
— Stratford Racecourse (@stratfordraces) September 4, 2021
“Because he’s at 145 now, he’ll be fairly exposed over hurdles but he’s jumping well and if we can make the improvements with him and he takes that step forward it’ll be a lot of fun.”
Anderson managed to finish 9th in a race of more than 20 horses on Hang In There, with the bookies labelling him as an 80/1 outsider.
This was a race that Joe reflects fondly upon.
He said: “He ran a lovely race there. We thought he might need it because he’d had a break, he’d been out on the field and he came back in just for the better ground.”
However, this was not Anderson’s proudest achievement of the season.
“There’s a couple of series for lads who are under 10 wins at the start of the season and for under 20 and we managed to win both of these.”
Joe managed to claim some impressive victories on other horses, too, with a victory for Coronado Joe during February at Fontwell Park.
— Joe Anderson (@Joe_Anderson17) February 7, 2022
The year did present itself with some difficulties for the talented jockey, who missed out on a prestigious race during the Cheltenham festival due to poor weather.
“To be fair I knew it was coming.
“I’d had a fair idea but if it had been the day before we’d have been flying because it was good ground.
“I was driving through the town centre in Cheltenham and it was hammering it down and I knew at that point that we were going to struggle.”
Although this was a disappointment, Anderson remains positive and insists that he will move on from the event.
“There’s plenty of nice races out there.
“Just because it’s Cheltenham doesn’t mean it’s the be all and end all.”
He is also surrounded by top professionals that have helped him progress this year.
The young man was full of praise for his mentors.
“I do a lot of work with Mick Fitzgerald, he’s my jockey coach.
“He’s been there and done it and has seen everything that there is to see.
— Joe Anderson (@Joe_Anderson17) October 15, 2021
“I ride out every day with Barry Fenton and Timmy Murphy and between the three of them there won’t have been a situation they haven’t been in.”
Murphy in particular was labelled as an important character for Anderson’s development due to his direct approach.
“There’s a few things Timmy has said to me that I probably couldn’t repeat.
“He calls a spade a spade and he says it how he sees it.”
Joe also added that Barry Fenton offers plenty of helpful advice with a quote standing out for Anderson in particular:
“You can’t win on every horse you ride, but if you ride them to hit the line you’ve given them every chance.”
Anderson will be looking to continue his incredible year as the jockey remains driven to succeed.
“Ideally I want to ride as many winners as possible. Hopefully I want to be down to my five-pound claim by Christmas.”
(Top picture, courtesy of Joe Anderson)