Tuesday 6 December 2016

Money Talks: 'With my job, the ability to earn can be taken away at any minute...'

Offaly man Pat Smullen began his career as a jockey more than 20 years ago. He was appointed stable jockey to Dermot Weld - one of Ireland's most successful racehorse trainers - in 1999 and crowned champion jockey for the first time in 2000.

Published 24/07/2016 | 02:30

Pat Smullen: Racing is the only job I have ever had - and I feel very fortunate to have been reasonably successful at it
Pat Smullen: Racing is the only job I have ever had - and I feel very fortunate to have been reasonably successful at it

No stranger to big race success, Smullen landed his biggest winner when Harzand, trained by Weld, won the Epsom Derby early last month. The same horse gave Smullen his third success in the Irish Derby at the Curragh in late June.

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Pat is married to the well-known horse-racing figure Frances Crowley and he will be riding in the Galway Races, which get under starter's orders tomorrow.

What is the most important lesson about money which your career as a jockey has taught you?

I think that being a jockey has taught me to be very cautious with money - largely my profession carries with it the risk that your ability to earn can be taken away at any minute.

What's the most you've ever won from a horse-racing bet?

Jockeys are not allowed to bet on racing!

Are you better off than your parents?

I'd have to say a cautious yes, because while we are maybe better off financially, we are not necessarily any happier.

Apart from property, what's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

My car - I spend a lot of time on the road.

What was your worst job?

Racing is the only job I have ever had - and I feel very fortunate to have been reasonably successful at it.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Marrying a racehorse trainer!

What was your best financial killing?

Purchasing and reselling my first house - it made a nice profit in a short space of time.

Do you use any money-saving apps?

No.

Android or iPhone?

iPhone.

Do you know how much is in your current account?

No - but my wife does.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

No.

Have you ever switched utility provider?

No.

iTunes or Spotify?

Now you have me. I think I'd have to ask my daughter!

What was the last thing you bought online?

Clothes.

Would you buy Irish property now?

I would always buy land.

Cash or card?

Card.

Do you ever haggle?

That's my wife's job!

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