Dubai: For couples who share a common career passion, like jockeys Megan Nicholls and Kevin Stott do, they benefit from a better understanding of hard times that one has to go through, such as with the coronavirus pandemic.
Megan, the daughter of Paul Nicholls, one of British racing’s most celebrated trainers, and Kevin, who works for the Dubai-owned Godolphin stable, are looking forward to the resumption of flat racing in the UK.
“Both dad and Kevin Ryan (trainer) said that if we can survive the lockdown together then we can get through anything. We seem to be coping well at the moment,” Megan said in the Daily Mail about a relationship forged in Dubai.
“Kevin copes very well with my minor meltdowns which happen nearly every week. He also lets me watch ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ so he is clearly very patient.”
Megan and Kevin met while working in Dubai during the Winter Racing Season and have built their relationship around their love for horses.
While jockey Kevin is attached to long-serving Godolphin handler Saeed Bin Surour’s yard’s in Dubai and Newmarket, for whom he has ridden several winners, Megan, who is still riding out her apprentice claim, is certainly no slouch herself.
With racing flowing through her veins, she is steadily forging a career for herself on the flat where she has ridden over 40 winners for top trainers such as Richard Fahey, Richard Hannon, Clive Cox and her father Paul in the UK.
She has also won the popular Silk Series of races restricted to female jockeys, has her own column in The Sun and is a much sought-after ambassador on the racing circuit.
With racing at a standstill due to the COVID-19 crisis, Megan and Kevin, have had to endure more challenges than most in a sport that demands a hectic schedule.
But with the British government have cleared the resumption of flat-racing in the country from June 1, they are eagerly looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and riding winners.
Both Megan, 22, and Kevin, 25, have kept themselves fit by indulging in some extensive physical training and bike rides
Megan, who has been signed as a retained rider for the Titanium Racing syndicate as well as becoming an ambassador for York Racecourse, said: “It doesn’t take long to lose fitness, but Kev looked into sourcing the equipment for the circuit sessions we have been doing and we have definitely felt a big difference.
“He is very driven and active so has been a good influence, although he is also a very good chef which might be a problem for me.”
The understanding between Megan and Kevin is not just motivational but also a great help during these difficult times.
Stott, who was born in Denmark to an English father, is looking forward to building on his burgeoning relationship with Bin Surour having been an established member of his work-rider team and also scoring the occasion winner at Meydan Racecourse.
One of his standout wins for Bin Surour came aboard Major Partnership in the Range Rover Handicap last February where he showed plenty of ability to see off the challenge of Conor Beasley and Above And Beyond in a tight finish.
Bin Surour has always invested in his work riders and Kevin is no exception.
“We have a very good team of riders at Al Quoz,” Bin Surour had once said. “We respect all of them and the hard work that they put in. If the opportunity arises they get to ride in a race, but with the smaller number of horses in the fields there are unfortunately not that many chances.”
However, both Megan and Kevin, will be looking to grab every chance that they get once racing resumes in the UK at the beginning of next month, and prove that their off-season commitment to work, and their friendship, will pay dividends.