Amazingly, jockeys manage to stay fit and healthy on less than 1,500 calories per day, and top riders – including Frankie Dettori – have donated their favourite low-calorie recipes to help make a ‘Jockey Diet’.
The meals – of between just 300 and 500 calories per serving – were chosen by Dettori, Hayley Turner, Ryan Moore, Richard Johnson and Paul Hanagan.
Like all professional jockeys they have to maintain a certain weight for races and are constantly checking the scales. Over the years, these top riders have all developed favourite recipes for meals that are quick to make and are extremely low in calories.
While most men in Britain devour around 3,000 calories a day and women consume up to 2,000 calories – jockeys manage to perform a highly active job on around 1,500 calories per day.
Now five nutritious recipes from top jockeys – along with tips on healthy eating – have been included in the Jockey Diet, which has been prepared by experts from the Professional Jockeys Association nutrition team.
The Jockey Diet also includes tips on eating on the hoof for when you are travelling!
Britain’s best-known jockey, Frankie Dettori, is famous for winning all seven races at Ascot in September 1996. He has ridden over 500 winners in the UK in the last five years – including the Derby – and his lowest riding weight was 8st 6lbs.
Dettori’s recipe for Chinese Noodles with Beef and Green Beans has just 300 calories per serving. Frankie’s verdict: “It’s very quick to make and tastes great.”
For a more Chinese flavour replace the vegetable oil with sesame oil.
Hayley Turner is the most successful female jockey riding in Britain. She was the first lady jockey to ride more than 100 winners in a season. Her lowest riding weight during the past 12 months was 8st 1lb.
Hayley says of her Chicken & Vegetable Risotto: “I usually add a measure of white wine and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese to serve. It adds a few more calories – but not too many!”
This dish will freeze well. Make double portions and freeze for another day when time is short. Defrost and re-heat thoroughly in microwave.
Three-times champion Flat jockey Ryan Moore has won the Derby, the Oaks and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp – plus a host of other top races.
His lowest riding weight is 8st 6lbs.
His chosen recipe, Fried Rice with Vegetables, is tasty, quick to make and is just 300 calories per serving.
Ryan says: “My partner really likes this dish because she is vegetarian. I sometimes add meat, such as chicken or ham.”
Spray oils are a good way of saving calories.
Richard Johnson would have been champion jockey many times over but for AP McCoy, who he has been runner-up to most years. As a jump jockey, he weighs a bit more than the flat jocks at 10st.
His Pork & Cashew Story Fry recipe has the most calories of any dish in this list but at 500 cals it is still a meal that you will not gain weight with.
He says: ”My wife and I enjoy this meal but I prefer to leave out the mushrooms.”
Water chestnuts can be bought in any supermarket in a tin. You will also find rice vinegar in most supermarkets in the oriental cooking section.
Serve with a small portion of white boiled rice (3 table spoons).
Paul Hanagan has been Champion Flat Jockey twice and is now retained rider for one of the leading owners on the globe, Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.
His lowest riding weight is 7st 12lbs.
Paul’s Salmon Parcel recipe is very quick to prepare and make, as time is in short supply for top jockeys. He says: ”I enjoy this meal and it’s very easy to make.”
Serve with a small portion (3 egg sized) of new potatoes and boiled green beans and carrots.
Jump Jockey Andrew Thornton gives advice on how to manage your weight…
Eating out is part of a jockey’s life and needs to be convenient and quick, especially when on the move.
It is all too easy to grab whatever is available or cheap without thinking about the nutritional balance.
Recipes and tips were provided by the Professional Jockeys Association Nutrition Team and the jockeys’ training aid ‘Fuelling Winners’.