Jockey addicted to meth and beaten by dealer battles back to win 500th race
A jockey who was “bashed up” by a violent drug dealer amid an addiction to crystal meth has turned his life around and recorded the 500th win of his career.
Jason Maskiell saw his life spiral out of control following the death of fellow jockey and good friend Ben Smith, who tragically took his own life in 2011.
The Australian, whose career looked set to take off when he scooped the country’s best apprentice jockey award in 2010, took to drink and drugs in the aftermath of Smith’s passing.
He even tried a drug named “ice” to help cope with the tragic news, which is a more potent form of crystal meth.
“I tried that evil drug they call ice and things just spiralled out of control,” Maskiell said.
“Even though things were going bad outside of racing I was still having success, which didn't make me realise what was going on around me.”
Maskiell was banned from racing for six months in September 2011 after testing positive for the drug.
He returned to the sport once his suspension came to an end, but disaster struck again in November 2013.
The troubled jockey was hit with another ban, this time for 18 months, after testing positive for drugs once more.
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“2013 was another big downfall. I hadn't been right for months,” he told Racing.com.
“I did mention to a few people that I wasn't right in the head. I didn't want to disappoint people and I shouldn't have gone racing, I should have got help.
“You want to hold onto your dream but you know you're spiralling out of control.
“I knew if I told people it would look like I had failed again when in reality it would have been the most beneficial thing."
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He also told abc : “There was a day where a person came in and locked all the doors and bashed me just to take my money so they could use drugs.
“That was the moment I woke up to myself and asked myself where am I going in life?
“And from that day forward I stopped and the racing fraternity was really good and helped me back on my feet.”
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But helped by wife Candice Green, Maskiell – who now has a tattoo on the inside of his left forearm with the Norwegian translation for “just say no” – has enjoyed great success on the racetrack again after turning his life around.
He secured a milestone 500th victory on Sunday when he inspired Plymouth Road to victory at long adds at Sale racecourse in Victoria, Australia.
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