Renwick revives with a little help from his friends in North


As first-footings go, three winners at Catterick on New Year's Day was the most cheering of thresholds for one of the unluckiest jockeys of 2011. Last June, Wilson Renwick was concussed in a fall at Hexham. By the time he returned, his principal patron had reacted to a four-year disqualification – on various welfare charges – by retiring altogether. Luckily, as things turned out, auld acquaintance would not be forgotten.

When Howard Johnson's horses were dispersed, around 25 were acquired by another Co Durham trainer, John Wade. Renwick picked up the phone, pointing out that he had partnered many of them both at home and on the track. Wade asked him down to ride work, and has since divided his runners between Renwick and James Reveley.

At 30, Renwick knew his career was at a crossroads. "It was a bit like going back to being a claimer again," he said yesterday. "I've many years left in me yet, and was still lucky to have the backing of Tony and Rose Dobbin, so I was never tempted to call it a day. But it does make you worry. All you can do is get yourself around, work hard. And John Wade has been great to me. He has stuck me up on plenty that I hadn't ridden previously, as well."

His statistics may be those of a journeyman but the same could not be said, when given a chance, of his riding. In 2010, for instance, Renwick landed a famous victory at Kelso when seeing off Zaynar, a 1-14 favourite sent up from Lambourn for his Champion Hurdle preparation, on Quwetwo.

As a Borders lad himself, Renwick takes due pride in the flourishing Scottish scene. "If you look at racing as a whole, in this recession, you do feel Scotland is coping better," he said. "Obviously, Lucinda Russell has built up a strong stable, but there are other, smaller, yards that have never had so many horses. And the prize-money, even in midweek, can be amazing. A winner at Sedgefield works out at little more than an extra ride. But if you win one of these good prizes at Musselburgh or Perth, you really notice the difference in your cheque at the end of the month."

It was the rare coincidence of two meetings in the North that triggered Renwick's treble. Though offered mounts at Musselburgh, his agent urged Catterick instead and he came away with winners for three different trainers. "At the beginning of the season, with Howard losing his licence, I thought 15 winners wouldn't be a disaster," Renwick said. "I've now ridden 14 and the best of the season is still to come. If I can keep in one piece, I might break the 30 barrier – and once you do that, you can look to go up a level. Whatever happens, it was a great start to 2012."

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Alben Star (Wolverhampton 5.45) Indulged by the handicapper after a long absence, and duly able to scrape into this grade off a rating just 1lb higher than when winning a nursery at Ayr. There were excuses on the Richard Fahey colt's only subsequent start and he can make up for lost time now.

Next best

Bagsy's Bridge (2.0 Bangor) Clearly on a good mark, easing clear at Wetherby on Boxing Day before losing concentration and being collared close home. Likely to be produced late this time.

One to watch

Gordonsville (Jim Goldie) can win again back over longer trips after rallying for fourth over Musselburgh's sharp two miles on New Year's Day.

Where the money's going

Finian's Rainbow remains in demand with the sponsors for the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot a fortnight tomorrow, now 2-1 from 9-4.

Suggested Topics
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Life and Style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Year 2 Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Bognor Regis!

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: Year 2 Teacher currently need...

Data Analyst / Marketing Database Analyst

£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits