Ladies derdy win will be with me forever
Published 22/07/2011 | 05:00
I haven't stopped pinching myself all week. Since moving to Ireland from Poland four years ago, I have been based in Kill with Ted Walsh.
At The Curragh last Sunday, Ted provided me with my first ever winner on Paramount in the Ladies Derby. It was an occasion that I will never forget.
The race was just after the Irish Oaks, and it seemed like everyone had been talking about it because of all the trainers' daughters that were riding in it. Luckily for me, Ted decided to let me ride Paramount.
Last year, I rode him to be second in a charity race at Punchestown and I also finished fifth on him in the Ladies Derby.
This time, against so many good jockeys and good horses, all I was hoping was that I wouldn't make a mistake. Going out for the race, I actually had no plan, other than to leave Paramount alone as much as I could and keep him on the bridle for as long as possible.
Even if I was last, I'd have been happy so long as he was travelling well. Having said that, Ted did give me a couple of instructions going out. "Forget the love," he said, "give him a few cracks of the whip!"
Ted knows I don't like to use the whip. During the race, I was thinking all the time that Ted told me that I must give him a slap, but I'm really not mad about doing it and I don't think Paramount likes it anyway.
He's a real favourite of mine that I ride out every day at home, so I know him well. I think he gives you his heart when you are not hitting him, which suits me fine. In the end, I didn't need to use the whip at all -- thank God! Paramount travelled great and flew home when I gave him a push.
When I was passing horses up the straight, Katie Walsh and Nina Carberry were roaring me on as I went by. Both girls have been brilliant to me. They have always encouraged me, so it was great to hear them cheering me home.
For someone like me from Poland, not being Irish and not knowing all the other girls, the weighing room can be a bit stressful at times, but Nina and Katie always help me to relax.
Ireland is like a second home to me now. On Sunday night, Ted and his wife Helen cracked open the champagne while we watched the video over and over with friends and other staff. That was lovely.
When I came here after completing a degree in horticulture in Poland, I didn't know what I would do. In the end, I decided to go with the horses. Ted very kindly gave me a job, and I've been loving life here ever since.
These days, I do all the racing for Ted, so wherever he has runners I'll be there looking after the horses. And if I have some spare time, I do a bit of work on the garden too; it's nice to be able to keep my hand in.
With Galway next week, depending on what Ted runs, I could have a busy time of things, but I don't mind the road.
As for my own riding career, I'll just wait and see what happens. Ted has mentioned that there might be another opportunity for me to ride Paramount this summer but I'm not looking for anything. It would be nice, though.
I'm still waking up at night thinking about Sunday's win. The whole thing was so exciting, and you only ever ride your first winner once. It's an unbelievable feeling that I will keep with me for the rest of my life.
For more information on racing in Ireland this weekend check out www.goracing.ie