CONOR SHOEMARK: What a win for ex-jockey Jim Culloty

Some of Gud Day's owners along with amateur rider Heather Kemp and trainer Fergal O'Brien before the St Patrick's Derby

Gud Day in the paddock before the St Patrick's Derby at Cheltenham

First published in Sport
Last updated

WHAT a fantastic Festival, so many great winners across the four days, writes Conor Shoemark.

I spent most of the week riding at other courses across the country but did still manage to catch the big races on the TV.

For me the best race was the Gold Cup. To see Lord Windermere come through from the back and hang on for ex-jockey and now trainer, Jim Culloty was amazing.

The win was made all the more special because Jim actually won three Gold Cups riding Best Mate all those years ago.

It wasn’t so good to see so many of my colleagues injured throughout the week. Unfortunately, it’s a risk we all take in the job we do. I’ve had my share of injuries, for example last year I broke my wrist.

If it wasn’t for the help and support of Injured Jockeys Fund-backed Oaksey House a full and speedy recovery just wouldn’t have been possible.

Oaksey House, near Lambourn, is a rehabilitation centre for jockeys past and present. They offer treatment and rehab following illness or injury including physio, sports massage, and access to specialist equipment such as an anti-gravity treadmill.

The work they do there is just phenomenal and a great support to the industry.

I had a ride in the Midlands Grand National last weekend on Bradley. Fresh from his win at Sandown, this was a big step up in class.

He jumped well but unfortunately I had to pull him up towards the closing stages. We’ll save him for another day.

Nevertheless, it was great experience for me to have the opportunity to ride in a big race.

The People’s Horse Gud Day ran a great race in the St Patrick’s Derby at The Festival.

He finished a close fifth under jockey Heather Kemp who is raising money for Cancer Research. There’s still time to donate to Heather’s cause at www.justgiving.com/hmkemp.

Conor Shoemark is sponsored by Agetur UK.

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