Suffolk

MP Matthew Hancock celebrates Newmarket horse race win

Matthew Hancock MP on racehorse
Image caption MP Matthew Hancock celebrates his win on racehorse Dick Doughtywylie

An MP who trained to become a jockey for a charity horse race and lost two stone in the process has come home in first place.

West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock decided to train as a jockey during parliament's summer recess.

He finished in first place on Dick Doughtywylie on Newmarket's July course on Saturday, raising £10,000.

The 33-year-old Conservative said he took the three-month training regime seriously, losing 28lb (12kg).

"I'm knackered and my legs are like jelly," Mr Hancock said after the race.

"Coming over that line I couldn't believe it, and that moment when all I could see were the crowds on either side, and the course and no other horses, well, I just thought someone was going to come by me, and I hung on and kicked and we got there."

"My attitude is just to throw myself into things," he added.

Mr Hancock, who had ridden horses before his jockey training, was challenged to take part in the Blue Square Cavalry Charge as part of Newmarket's Horsemen and Heroes day raising money for Racing Welfare and The Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund.

Image caption Mr Hancock said he now needed to put weight back on

"Three months ago I needed to lose two stone, get fit and learn how to handle a racehorse," he said.

"I've had a huge amount of help, most of all from the stable staff and my trainer John Gosden. They were brilliant."

He had to lose the weight in order to slim down to "jockey weight" but said in the end he shed too much.

"I had to have a big drink of water and a banana before the race but I still had to carry 2lbs of lead around with me," he said.

"I am now looking forward to putting back on at least one of the two stone I lost in what remains of summer, so I can fit into my suits."

Among the other jockeys in the charity race was racing presenter and former jockey Niall Hannity and actor Nathaniel Parker, best known for his role in The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.

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