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Self-promotion pays dividends; YORK.

After riding out so many lots for Mick Easterby one morning he had lost count and become enrolled to some unscripted schooling over hurdles, jockey Gyles Parkin reckoned the moment was ripe for a spot of self-promotion.

He considered three factors were in his favour; it was a gloriously sunny Yorkshire morning, the work programme had gone without a hitch and the boss appeared in a benevolent mood.

So, after unsaddling either his 10th or 11th mount, Parkin told Easterby: "If you're looking for a jockey for Dee Pee Tee Cee at York I can do 7st 13lb without a problem these days. I just thought I'ld mention it."

Easterby gave the impression he had not heard. Parkin, while driving home to the cottage he shares with eldest brother Lester, cogitated that perhaps his timing had not been so smart after all!

However, almost a week later, on Tuesday morning of this week, Easterby forwarded a five-word reply: "You can ride the horse."

Self-promotion is not normally the style of the unassuming Parkin. Having brushed close to the big time without ever quite being able to grab it, he was elated to be associated with a horse on a hot streak of four straight wins.

Although Jimmy Quinn had been booked to ride Dee Pee Tee Cee in the John Smith's Cup, Parkin knew the former's visit to Jockey Club HQ would probably result in him beginning a period of suspension, as indeed it did. He was also aware that Terry Lucas, who had ridden the gelding to three of those recent wins, has an 8st 5lb body that was not made for trimming to 7st 13lb.

Dee Pee Tee Cee has won nine races since Parkin was last successful on him.

That was back in the summer of 1996, when making his racecourse debut in a Redcar seller. Unusually for an Easterby winner in such a contest, he had taken a walk in the betting from 7-1 to 10-1.

PARKIN, 26, remembers: "He'd shown us nothing at home. It was a rotten bad race and we didn't fancy him in the slightest. After that he became too keen for his own good. It was another year before he won again.

"I'm overjoyed to be back on him. I'd thought the boss was sure to engage one of the top boys, but Terry Lucas put in a good word, and that must have clinched it.

"He has grown into a lovely athletic type of horse and these days he's a perfectly straightforward ride. He sits handy and quickens the second you ask him. This is his toughest race to date, but I reckon he has an excellent chance of making the frame.

"He can operate on any ground, though the more rain the better-it will slow down that Killer Instinct."

A graduate of the Reg Hollinshead apprentice learning centre, Parkin has ridden winners for Barry Hills and Henry Cecil. More than once when his career appeared likely to take off it shuddered almost to a stop.

In the early days at Hollinshead's, he rode four winners within a few weeks, then he had a blank two years when the calibre of rides became increasingly wretched.

He did the job rounds. From Hollinshead to Nigel Tinkler, on to Richard Whitaker, and then Mary Reveley's, where he became disenchanted with racing.

"As a person I was going the wrong way, in terms of my attitude," he admits. "I was too mischievous.

"I was within days of quitting racing for good when Mick offered me a job and that was the turning point.

"Mick was responsible for getting me going again as a jockey. I'll always be grateful to him for that."

It was over today's course that Parkin assisted in securing one of the gambles of 1996 when winning the Coral Sprint on Bollin Joanne, backed from 12-1 to 6-1. Another high-profile winner would not go amiss.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Masters, Rodney
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 10, 1999
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