I became a fan of creating cavalry models after watching my father build dioramas and scale models of anything ranging from cars to tanks, aeroplanes and figurines.

His favourite genre was anything to do with World War II, but I tend to favour the Imperial Era. My mother is an avid horse rider and I often went riding with her, so this explains the crossover in interests between modelling and horses.

As I got older, my interests also changed. I am not just a fan of cavalry models, but also the racetrack. I enjoy the excitement of being on the track and I also enjoy doing my research so I can place a bet on a horse and hopefully win.

Just like everything else, it pays to do your homework. A lot of people go to the racetrack and just place a punt on a horse they like the look of, or because they like the colours of the jockey. Others just like the names, but that is the one surefire way to lose money.

To place an informed bet, the first thing you should look at is form. You should check to see how horses have performed in their last 10 races. If they were consistently placed towards the top, that is one of the most common indicators of having a good chance. You also need to check the ‘going’ of the ground – meaning how hard or soft the ground is. Some horses perform better than others in different situations. Last but not least, you should check to see how a horse performs against other particular horses. Some are known to have ‘bad days’ when they are racing against a horse that unsettles them.

Although I enjoy the races, I have built some models on the theme, but it is cavalry models and in particular cavalry charges that are my real passion. Seeing the horses up close, however, helps when painting them realistically.