We had a winner on the flats last week for Jo Hughes at Wolverhampton and we had loads of good publicity through social media after it.
Sculptured was the horse, and I only had a little saddle. She’s a filly and wasn’t used to the smaller saddle, so when we went to post she was doing a bit of broncing!
But because she was running straight it wasn’t so bad for me as the rider, although it was all the way to the post. So after all that, I managed to get her under control and we set off at between 25/1 and 33/1, but we won and got a great reaction to it.
The footage went up on YouTube and the video got thousands of hits within the first few hours, while we’re also up for ‘Ride of the Month’ on At The Races, which will be picked at the end of July.
The reaction was maybe a bit much I thought - much more than I was expecting - but it was nice and it will do me no harm at all.
The biggest talking point in racing this week is undoubtedly Brian Toomey making his comeback on Sunday.
Toomey has returned to the saddle two years after suffering a fall that almost killed him, and he’s a personal friend of mine. There’s five or six of us lads based up in the north of England and we’re very close.
There’s Brian Hughes, Brian Toomey, James Reveley, myself and a few others, and Brian Toomey is one I’d be quite close to.
His comeback was unsuccessful in terms of the result, but I think for him I think it was more of a mental thing, to get back into the game after so long out.
I haven’t been in a whole lot of touch with him over the last two years because he’s been away through his injury, but I imagine I’ll see more of him now.
We did have a personal conversation around six months ago and I told him my view was that he shouldn’t come back. I told him I thought he’d been blessed to survive that fall.
The thing about Brian is, he has a very good eye for picking horses out, buying them cheap and selling them on for more. He’s got talent in that side of the game, so my view was that he should forget the riding side, concentrate on his health and build up his connections with buying and selling.
To be honest, my view is still the same, I think he’s mad to come back. The last two years have been all about getting back on the saddle, and he’s done that now.
But he now has to go on and ride regularly – if you don’t ride you don’t make any money to survive. That’s the side I’m afraid of for Brian. If he does manage to get a few winners he will no doubt get support from trainers, but it’s going to be hard to get back to that level.
It’s a very big ask and only he can come up with the answers, but I’ve given him my honest view as a close colleague and friend. I think most fellow-jockeys have a similar concern for Brian’s physical health.
I suppose the other big talking point last week, away from racing, was the cage fighting involving Conor McGregor.
Every Irishman was talking about it. I didn’t sit up and watch it myself but I’ve seen the highlights and all I can say is – what a cool character.
He’s very, very confident, but it comes across as a very natural confidence. What he’s one over there in America is amazing. So, all-in-all, the Irish have had a great week between myself, Toomey’s comeback and Conor McGregor taking America by storm.