Saturday 10 December 2016

Paper prophet: Jessica Harrington (Racehorse trainer)

Published 06/02/2011 | 05:00

With the arrival of the recession, have you cut back on any spending?

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I look for deals everywhere -- you would be surprised how much discount you can get if you ask.

What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?

My annual skiing holiday, white wine and Sudoku books.

Do you shop in Lidl or Aldi?

It depends which one I pass on the way home from racing!

What's your worst customer service experience?

Trying to rent a car at Hertz. I had made a booking online and when I got to Heathrow they had no record of the booking. After two hours, I finally got a car. I was very grumpy and annoyed. I hate having to rent a car -- the paperwork is a nightmare!

What car do you drive and how much does it cost to fill up the petrol tank?

I drive a BMW 5 Series -- €80 fills the tank.

What was your first job and salary?

My first job was working on a stud farm for two days a week for £4.

What would you like to achieve in work this year?

I'd like to train more winners and be able to keep all our current staff employed.

Do you have any family connection with business?

As all my family have been involved with horses for generations, we can't seem to get away from them and we all try to run a business around them.

Which businessman or woman do you most admire?

Michael O'Leary -- it's a shame he can't run the country as well as Ryanair. He would get our civil service more efficient and definitely get us all more value for money.

What was your best investment?

That would have to be the indoor school I am so lucky to have. With it, we can keep the horses exercised during the really bad weather.

What is the biggest financial mistake you ever made?

Investing in bank shares.

Do you know what interest rate you are paying on your mortgage?

No, thankfully it's all paid off.

Have you switched your bank or moved your mortgage in the past couple of years?

No.

If you won the Euromillions jackpot, what would you do with the money?

Retire!

What have you got in your wallet today?

Bank cards, my driving licence, sterling and a few dollars.

If you could design your own euro note, whose face would you put on it?

The National Hunt horse Moscow Flyer.

What would you spend more money on each year -- petrol or restaurants?

Definitely petrol with the amount of miles I do each year.

Have you ever been overcharged by a bank?

Yes -- on foreign exchange charges.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

Yes, I have had a few over the years. The last one was for our two-horse lorry. I forgot to put on the handbreak after filling it up with diesel. The next morning I went out into the yard and it was crashed into the mucking-out trailer. We had only had it one week and it was brand new. I managed to do about €5,000 worth of damage. It was a good lesson to remember to put your handbreak on.

How much is a bag of chips?

No idea -- I don't allow myself chips.

Jessica Harrington, one of the country's top National Hunt trainers for many years, is famous for training the likes of Moscow Flyer and Macs Joy. Harrington's horses, Oscar Welles and The Bull Hayes, are running in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle in Leopardstown today. The Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup is also on in Leopardstown today. For more information, visit www.goracing.ie.

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