IT’S not unusual to see jockeys active at bloodstock sales and Mark McDonagh was spotted placing a few bids at Tattersalls Ireland this week.

The 21-year-old told us: “I’ve been attending sales for about five years and now I’m hoping to buy one or two for myself. It’s good to increase your knowledge about every aspect of the industry and hopefully my familiarity with the form book will help me identify pedigrees that could come alive.”

Mark in his final year studying Accountancy and Finance in the University of Limerick. “We have exams in the second week of December but then we have five weeks off, so I will be free to focus on the Christmas racing.”

The Cheltenham Festival-winning jockey recently had the thrill of representing his college in the Student Derby at the Curragh which he won aboard Global Equity. “That was easy,” he said laughing, admitting that it didn’t make him a hero on campus overnight. “The college is so big that not many people would even know I’m a jockey. It’s a great leveller. There’s more to life than racing.”