Monday, 23 November 2015

An interview with...Gordon Gilvear

Next up in the hot seat we have the regular driver of the recently-voted BHRC 3YO of the Year for 2015, Rewrite History.  Gordon 'GG' Gilvear has been plying his trade as the stable driver for the Gilvear family for a number of years but in 2015 he really made his mark at Corbiewood when winning with a number of catch drives.  His successes across the UK and Ireland this year include a leg of the Inter Dominion Qualifying Series (Astounding, York), heat and final of the Oakwood Stud 3YO Derby (Rewrite History, Portmarnock), and numerous wins with Funtime Frankie at Corbiewood (which secured the horse the 'Horse of the Month' award from the SHRC for May/June), as well as wins with Master Plan, Evenwood Ruthless and Caraghs Hall amongst others.

Gordon's reputation on the track is similar to that off the track - cool, calm and collected at all times, so let's see what makes the man tick...

For anybody who doesn’t know you, how long have you been involved in the sport and where did it all start? 
I've been in the sport all my life; I'm a third generation horseman in my family.

Which is the best horse you’ve driven in your career?
I've been very lucky to drive a lot of great horses but I think Rewrite History is the best, he has all the tools to be an all-time great.

Which horse, past or present that you haven’t driven, would you like to drive and why?
Stoneriggs Mystery would be my pick, he's the best I've raced against.

Who did, or do, you admire as a driver?
Mick Lord, he's been at the top since I started and he's still the best and he's also a great role model.

Which is your favourite track in the UK and Ireland? 
Appleby is my favourite grass track and I love York as it's the fastest.

Have you driven outside of the UK and Ireland? If not, where in the world would you choose to have one drive?
I have driven a couple of times in Canada, but would love to drive at the Meadowlands and would also like to drive 'Down Under'.

Have you ever considered moving abroad to become a professional driver?
I think about it constantly.  I would love to train a stable in the US or Canada.

If you could change one thing about the sport in the UK, what would it be?
I would love to change the perception other horse people have, we have a great sport and should be proud of it.

Which is your favourite meeting in the UK racing calendar?
Appleby Bank Holiday weekend meet, I look forward to it all winter.

How much do you consider information from a trainer when you drive?
You have to listen to the trainer but when the race starts they can't help you.

Out of all the races you have won, which has been the most memorable? Which race would you like to win that you haven’t already?
Winning the Appleby Monday final with Dreamfair Samarai two years in a row was my greatest achievement so far, but I'd love to win Musselburgh; it's still the big one for me.

How would you describe your driving style? i.e. pace setter, strong closer, rail hugger?
It all depends on the horse - you have to be versatile and win from anywhere.

Where do you see yourself in the sport 10 years from now?
Hopefully training and driving a top stable full time, either here in the UK or North America...who knows?

What is your opinion on a Drivers Championship Day to select a UK representative for the World Driving Championships? The format would be based on the top 10 drivers according to number of wins in the previous season, competing across a certain number of races on one day, driving horses that they have not previously driven (in order to replicate the actual event).
I think the tournament is a good idea and would be very exciting.

Do you have any children? Would you encourage them to get involved directly in harness racing in the future?
I have two kids, Sandy and Erin.  I would love them to get involved in the sport but I won't force it on them as it wasn't forced on me.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of racing?
I'm a football fan, Glasgow Rangers are my team but to be honest if I have any spare time I'll spend it with my family.

If you could visit one place in the world, where would it be and why?
I would love to go to the Caribbean.

You’re stranded on a desert island – what five things can’t you live without?
iPhone, Irn Bru, Hoof Beats magazine, photo of the kids and a skip hat as I always wear one.

You’re holding a dinner party for five famous guests (alive or dead) – who would they be and why?
Jimmy Takter as he is the best standardbred trainer in the world today, Aiden O'Brien as he's a great horseman, Sir Alex Ferguson as he's the greatest football manager of all time, Micky Flanagan as he's my favourite comedian and Jennifer Aniston as she's the only woman I would leave Amanda [Gordon's wife] for!

If you were invisible for a day, what would you do? 
I would go into the stewards' room just after they had interviewed me so I could hear what they were saying.

If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would spend your winnings on?
A Ferrari.  I love them, would have to have more than one.

What would you name your autobiography?
Can't think of one without sounding daft! [that was the point...!!]

Which actor would play you in a film about your life? 
Vin Diesel as me and him are of similar physique...!

When was the last time you got into trouble? 
I never get in trouble I don't think.

Describe yourself in three words.
Honest, familyman, horseman

Gordon & BHRC 3YO Colt of the Year, Rewrite History

Gordon & Funtime Frankie, SHRC Horse of the Month, May/June 2015

Gordon & Astounding, winner of the third leg of the Inter Dominion Qualifying Series
Thank you to Gordon for taking the time to answer my questions and letting us find out a bit more about him.  I wish you and your family all the best for the 2016 season - good luck!

Over and out,

#1 Groom

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