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Gainford returns with a winner

Nottodaybobo (right) 
Nottodaybobo (right)
© Photo Healy Racing

Jordan Gainford has had a hard time with injuries this year but returned with a winner on his first ride back when Nottodaybobo (4/1) landed the two-mile maiden hurdle.

The Gordon Elliott-trained Flemensfirth gelding, fourth at Roscommon on his previous start, was pushed along in third on the approach to the last. Soon switched to the outer, he jumped the last in second and got past Bayou Belle on the run-in to beat that rival by a length.

“It's unreal, it's like every Christmas at once,” said Gainford.

“I have to thank Jennifer Pugh and her team, everyone in Santry (sports clinic), Garry Cribbin and especially Gordon for standing by me all that time.

“It's a long time and I'm just very fortunate to be riding for him and here today and around the yard as well.

“I was unlucky, I don't know whether I have a soft head or what it is!

“I got a fall before Cheltenham and I was trying to keep things quiet a bit but I just had to come and tell Jennifer and I got another one on the Friday of Cheltenham.

“I took five weeks off and came back and then got another fall in Punchestown.

“It's hard to describe but it's like everything around you is pushing against your head. Jennifer and her team got me back and worked hard so it's great.

“I remember coming home from Cheltenham on the Friday, there was a lady beside me and I had to ask her for a jacket to put over my head on the flight home as the pressure on my head was just unbearable.

“I went away for a couple of days afterwards, before Punchestown, but I ended up coming home as I couldn't stick it any longer.

“Light was a big issue and anything happening sudden. It's all behind me now and please God we keep the ball rolling.

“I couldn't do a whole lot, it's not like a broken arm. People were asking what's wrong but you can't see, you're not going out with a sling on your head or a cast.

“It was just a matter of letting it settle and doing plenty of rehab. They said my neck was weak and it wasn't taking a fall. It was like a slingshot, that was how they described it.

“I've built it up plenty now and please God we keep going.”

On the horse today he added:- “We flew early and then Danny (Mullins) really steadied it up going by the stands with a circuit to go.

“Ben (Harvey) went on and I got into a lovely pocket. Emmet (Mullins') horse missed the one away from the stands and it worked out beautiful from there.

“I did get into a bit of a pocket turning in but I thought they had gone a bit quick for the ground.”

On the application of tongue-tie on the winner, he added: “He didn't realise he actually could go through with it until he noticed it was on him turning in. He stuck his head down then when he trusted himself.”

Quotes from Gary Carson