Last year’s Grand National winning jockey, Liam Treadwell admits to feeling better after working up a sweat in his garden. “Only last week I got uptight and stressed out, so just took a fork out into my garden and spent half an hour digging over the soil; I felt much better after.”
The likeable jockey who will be riding Nozic today continues, “I have just bought a house in Tewkesbury, with a small garden and as the summer months are quiet for me I plan to get stuck into the garden. My parents take great pride in their garden which backs onto the Castle grounds in Arundel and my brother has just started working in the grounds of the Castle too. It’s a beautiful site. We are a real outdoor family and I was always outdoors as a kid; I grew up around ponies and started riding when I was about 8 years old.
“It was my very first Grand National last year and I was as surprised as anyone when I won (on the 100/1 outsider Mon Mome). I was delighted; I didn’t even know I would be riding until just 48 hours before the race. I got a call whilst I was at a BBQ, so I thought I’d better put my beer and beef burger down straight away,” he laughs.
Following his win, a casual remark by racing commentator, Claire Balding became as widely reported as his success. “She mentioned I could afford to get my teeth fixed with my winnings,” he laughs. “The press made a huge issue of her being insensitive but I’ve grown up with crooked teeth so it wasn’t an issue for me. I was on such a high that I didn’t take any notice anyway but then Dr Thang Nghiem from Ultrasmile Dentistry (www.ultrasmile.co.uk) approached me and asked me if I wanted them fixed, so I said yes please. I owe Claire a big thank you.” he grins confidently.
Although a stranger to vanity, the good natured jockey does like to keep fit and eat healthily. “Some friends have got their own veggie patch and they throw some fresh veg my way sometimes. I would like to grow my own one day. I used to get stuck into gardening with dad when I was a kid, though I was probably more of a hindrance than a help.” He smiles. “I’d like to have a bit of lawn in my new garden, some bright coloured flowers and patio doors that open straight into the garden. I love the fresh air, it’s so good for you mentally as well as physically and I can go and have a good workout in the garden when the owners and trainers stress me out.”