There was a huge element of luck around me even having a ride in the Kildare Village Ladies’ Derby at The Curragh on Saturday. To win it, on Juddmonte Irish Oaks day, was frankly unbelievable and I it will take some time to sink in.
It means so much. I can’t even believe I got the ride to be honest. To ride a winner is unbelievable, I can’t describe it to be honest. I had a winner in Ireland point-to-pointing and two in England, so it was my fourth winner overall.
I worked in Cullentra House for about six years when I was younger and decided to make the move to England to see if I could get more riding opportunities and experience. I’m just back on a holiday so it was definitely a lucky ride — right place, right time. Of course I had it all planned out!
Sneezy Foster said to get a nice posi up the front with Elite Trooper Grey and we jumped out and we did. He just kept going. He’s run over two and I think even two and a half miles over hurdles, so I knew he’d stay. Once I kept him rolling, he just kept travelling to the line.
Some big names have won the Ladies’ Derby. I was so pleased to even get the ride and I can’t put into words how happy I was and still am.
I had some great times in Cullentra and was so lucky to look after Apple’s Jade when she arrived from Willie Mullins’. I was the fortunate one to be asked if I’d like to look after her and it was a privilege that I got to take her on.
She won so many big races and I was always nervous watching her run. With any horse you look after, all you want is for them to come back safe and sound more than anything else.
She could always be a bit hot-headed. She liked to get her own way. She’d test you but sure you could never complain when she went and won so many Grade 1s and won the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. That part of her character stood to her on the track — she loved a fight.
I was so lucky at Cullentra. I also looked after Cause Of Causes until he retired. He won at Cheltenham three times and was also second in a Grand National. I also looked after Farclas, who won the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham. So I was very lucky with the horses that were given to me to look after.
They were great times and it wasn’t an easy decision to move on but I wanted to build my experience and just get more opportunities in race-riding. I have no big plans about what’s next. Maybe something might come out of this but I will have the memories of last Saturday for a long time to come. It was very special indeed. I will never forget it.