O’Donoghue’s success shows you always have a chance

O’Donoghue’s success shows you always have a chance

THE underdog can always bark. To see Colm O'Donoghue win the Epsom Oaks on Friday showed people can be done in racing. It was brilliant to watch; to see that something a jockey dreams about might actually come true.

You have so many tough days that when the good one comes it is crucial to enjoy it – to live in that truly special moment. On the flat especially you rarely see too many long shots winning, but I was thrilled for Colm O'Donoghue. Qualify was such a great winner of the race.

Colm O'Donoghue is your typical grafter. Only a handful of jockeys are front page and headline news. The rest of us just hope that a chance will come – Colm O'Donoghue seized his opportunity in quite some style.

Involved with Ballydoyle for years O'Donoghue is around fantastic horses so he just showed why he is plenty capable of doing the business in a big race for them. It gave everybody a lift. It is true that you always have a chance, it might only be a tiny chance, but if you aren't in you cannot win.

Colm is part of a winning team and as long as you're simply not operating in a pacemaking role you can do it. I was very happy to see him winning this event. It ensured lots of jockeys had hope again. At this time of the year that can be enough to keep you going.

I was glad too for one of racing's characters Frankie Detorri, too. The past few years have been tough for him, but he is fascinating to watch. In nine different races I watched him win six and place in two others. That is a considerable feat – he just has the technique for it.

You'd always see it written that the bookies compare him to AP McCoy. They fear the two of them – whatever horse they are on will always command respect no matter what. That is just the way it is.

Frankie has a rapport with the public too. It must be hard for him because he is a happy-go-lucky type of guy and everybody wants a piece of him. I've met Frankie a couple of times and found him to be a nice guy. The problem is that he cannot afford to have a bad day because if he does or says something it will be in the media. Trying to keep a smile on all of the time must be extremely tough, but he seems to be able to power through all of it.

He was at Aintree recently and all the jump jockeys had great respect for him. To see him win these type of races again shows that people can get back to the highest stage again; he is a naturally good rider and what I notice about him is how he gets his horses so well balanced. That is the key – while his ability to win in different ways is also impressive.

Personally I hadn't much joy at Hexham on Saturday, but I was thrilled to ride again on the flat on Pontefract on Monday evening. Things are quiet at this time of the year so when you are watching more money going out of your bank account than coming in you begin to get twitchy.

I've always enjoyed riding on the flat. Of course it is different. I never find speed an issue – you know what the horse can do. It is making sure your technique is correct – you need to ensure you push the horse properly. Basically you must let things occur naturally.

I ride out for a lot of dual purpose yards so it isn't as bad for me compared to other lads making the switch. The cruising speed is a lot higher, but the pace of the race isn't an issue. Ultimately the aim of it all is the same.