When I woke up on Monday morning I had a great feeling of satisfaction. It is no secret in the yard that, despite me loving every part of my job, the training side of the business can be for me the most challenging at times. Not because I don’t enjoy it but because of the disappointments, not my own but there can seem nothing worse than having to give loyal and patient owners bad news – I think she has a leg, he can’t breathe, he’s just not right. I find it soul destroying. Not for my own worth but because I hate letting people down and in my business our mantra is happy horses happy people.
So Sunday at Barbury was fantastic in terms of “little wins”. Man in the Moon, Charmond, Western Diva and What a Joke all ran up to expectations and we can now look forward. The pic above shows Diva and I coming second in the Veterans, she was so up for it and gave me a great ride. They all did their best on the day, ate up well after and came back home in good shape.

Having four runners on the same day, three in back to back races, highlighted to me how incredibly lucky I am to have superb staff and support around me. Vics, Hayley and Em worked tirelessly to keep the show on the road and with the help of my mum Helen, Tracey, Jax , Cynnie and Anna, our four runners all looked fantastic in the paddock and were brilliantly looked after following their runs. It was also humbling to see so many of our owners and support team in attendance. Go team! I reflected on how it’s not all about the big achievements and winners and how grateful we must be to have had a fun day out, given the owners a satisfying run and for everyone to have come home safe and sound.

It was therefore very poignant to hear the sad news yesterday morning of the passing of valet, David Sunderland. An amazing man with whom only the day before I had shared some banter. With his usual cheeky smile he gave me some stick about being old enough to remember my own weight cloth before lending me one and similar grief as I had to scrounge tape to cover my sponsored logos that weren’t valid! Dave will be fondly remembered for his sense of humour, constant support and advice to all of us jockeys, but most of all he leaves a huge hole in the weighing room that will never be filled. I know I can speak for everyone in TeamCHE in saying our thoughts go out to Dave’s family and all the friends he leaves behind.

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