Talking Horses: reformed Dawson on track, plus tips on Ayr Gold Cup day

By: Greg Wood and Chris Cook Saturday 19 September 20

The former alcoholic has turned his life around and the in-form jockey is chasing glory in Saturday’s big race with Spanish City

There are records that can map the progress of a racing career, and others that can stop one in its tracks. In 2012, Ray Dawson was banned from riding for two years, having acquired the unwanted distinction of becoming the first jockey in Ireland to test positive for a banned substance twice. Nor was that the end of Dawson’s problems in the early part of his career, or even the end of the beginning.

“When I got done the second time, that’s when things got really bad for me,” Dawson says. “I didn’t do anything about trying to get better, I was still in denial about having a problem. It wasn’t the ban. It was my actions after the ban that did for my career for a few years.”

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