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Dr Philip Pritchard explains why jockeys need to eat more healthily

Cycle of starvation and stuffing makes riders fatter than they should be and they must improve their diets, says racetrack veteran

Three days into the new year, as resolutions about healthy eating are being quietly ditched, this is an excellent time for a sit-down with Dr Philip Pritchard, ex-jockey, ex-trainer and these days the GP of choice for Britain’s jump jockeys, a man who is certain he knows how to improve the health of most of those in the weighing room, starting with their diet. What more bracing way to open 2015 than in the company of a man possessed of many a strong opinion running directly counter to the general line of thought?

Jockeys are “unfit, fat and fragile”, he told a conference in Abu Dhabi recently. There is an element of provocation to the line and it should be said that Pritchard sees himself as a great supporter of jockeys, rather than a scold or a critic, and he concedes there are honourable exceptions. But he is scathing about some of the bad habits that currently prevail.

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