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Racing We can't afford to be off longer than a week, says jockeys valet

JOCKEYS valet Chris Maude fears a suspension of racing for any longer than a week could have dire financial consequences for certain tradesmen.

With the sport currently in the middle of a six-day shutdown due to equine influenza, Maude, along with professionals in several other occupations, is unable to earn any money.

Valets look after jockeys inside the weighing room making sure they wear the right silks, weigh out correctly, have clean boots, breeches and goggles and generally make sure all the jockeys have to think about is riding.

With no racing, though, valets earn no money.

“It’s obviously not great because I have five full-time employees,” said former jockey Maude.

“I’ve been saying it’s a bit like bad weather — when you are off five or six days you do catch up. All those horses that were going to run then run somewhere else, but any longer than a week and we’ll be in serious trouble.”

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