I had a dream come true day in Punchestown, it started with the excitement of the other races and meeting everyone. I was called into the Weigh Room at 4.30pm - just being in there was an incredible experience, the smell, the polish, the buzz, the joy, the hustle, the bustle, the excitement, the muck, the sweat, the tears and the ladies who feed the jockeys are saints.
Barry Geraghty and Nina Carberry both wished me luck. I was decked out in JP’s colours with the white cap (white cap means his first horse), the 7th race was won by Nina and of course I was wearing the same colours so all the jockeys teased, “No Pressure” as I was leaving the room!!
On Thursday, Horse Racing Ireland confirmed Sword Fish had one penalty of 3lbs for the race he won on 1st January 2015. That was good news for me as I was struggling to stay at 11st.7, it meant that I needed to be under 12.3 and not 12.0 with all my gear on. I weighed out with a bit to spare at just under 12st 3 (earlier on Saturday morning I weighed 11.9) so Christy insisted I had a sugary drink and a sandwich. He gave me my instructions, “make sure you jump off early and don’t get left behind or you won’t catch up”.
We had a dream start, I got myself into a good position and got away 3rd perfect, he was travelling well. I let him catch his breath down the hill but he ran out of puff on the turn in, we just hacked home. He was a perfect gentleman, no drama and we returned home safe - it was amazing.
The day will live long in my memory, that said I have decided to take the Corinthian Challenge for the Irish Injured Jockeys with 3 flat races over the summer.
I am hoping to raise over €12,000.