GREEN and Gold. For anybody from Ireland interested in racing those colours matter. So when you come into a Weighing Room to see them on your peg it brings a great thrill.
I had a winner at Wetherby for JP McManus on Thursday - and it was hugely satisfying. You think of the likes of Conor O’Dwyer and Charlie Swan who were so successful riding for JP before and it gives you a sense of pride to win any race for JP.
Over the past few years I have been fortunate enough to ride around 15 winners in those colours and it is a privilege to do so. It is a very good thing for a jockey to do and of course we all know big boots need to be filled now that AP McCoy is no longer riding.
Every jump jockey thinks the same thing at this time of the year. We all feel that we can eventually become a champion jockey in the future. That is what keeps us going; you are looking for a break or a small bit of good fortune to get things moving.
At the moment the standard of riding is exceptional. Horses are being trained brilliantly too so the room for error is slim, there is such a fine margin between winning and losing. When you cross the line first for JP you immediately hope that it will lead to something more.
Most people in racing hope that Richard Johnson will be the champion jockey this season. I stayed with Richard at the weekend while I was riding at Ffos Las and he is such a nice and down to earth guy.
He is exactly like AP McCoy that way. They just get on with the job they have to do. I think the wins are starting to clock up again for Richard. Brian Hughes is a darkhorse because he picks up a lot of winners, but Richard really has the ability to finish the job this season.
On Saturday we brought our kids to his local village-we sat around eating sandwiches and cake and drinking tea. It was lovely and he is a real family man, who loves his kids.
Getting the winner two days previously for JP marked an up and down week for me personally as on Tuesday my daughter Aoife had to go in for a precautionary scan on her back.
It was a very scary experience for Aimee, my wife and I, and when you are in the hospital it is terrible because it is natural to fear the worst. The only thing I noticed, though, is that there is always someone worse off than you which is a brutal thing.
Meeting other parents and kids in there reminds you of how important your health is. It is what really matters most of all. We won’t find out the result of Aoife’s scan for a few weeks, but she is in good form. Hopefully everything will be okay.