KATIE WALSH'S win on Jacksonslady at Leopardstown yesterday was a memorable one on so many levels for me personally.lly.
It was fantastic to see Katie get such an opportunity on St Stephen's Day against the professionals, and I was thrilled for Jacksonslady's trainer and a great friend, Philip Dempsey, who was good enough to give me the opportunity to win on her at the Punchestown Festival last year.
I ride out in Philip's six mornings a week and see the effort that he puts into getting the very best out of his string, and Jacksonslady has been a great flag-bearer for the yard over the past 18 months.
Unfortunately, she is not EBF registered, which means she cannot run in races confined to just mares, but that has made her efforts all the more pleasing as placing her wasn't easy.
But she is a fantastic mare who has very rarely run a bad race and since the day she won her point-to-point she has ran 22 times, over hurdles, over fences and on the flat and only finished outside the places on four occasions, never beaten more than 10 lengths on any run in that time.
After looking like getting a run into her at Christmas was going to be unlikely due to the ground (she prefers it nice), the ground at Leopardstown turned out to be just right and after seeing the form she was in when we were riding out Christmas morning, I was certainly hopeful of a big run and she won well, after getting a great ride from Katie.
The owners Philip Smith and his father-in-law Noel Farrell were on cloud nine and it's probably a good job Tracey Piggott didn't come near Noel with a microphone or we may have had another Peter Casey-like interview!
When you work so closely with horses you inevitably become very attached, and endure many ups and downs, but to be involved in a good one like Jacksonslady is a great thrill and makes up for all the frustrating days.
Fingers crossed there'll be more big days to celebrate from her yet.