Sunday 18 March 2018

First lady of Irish racing not slowing down just yet

Trainer Jessica Harrington. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Trainer Jessica Harrington. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Top trainer Jessica Harrington says she can scarcely believe the success she has enjoyed on the track in the past year.

The first lady of Irish racing recently celebrated her 70th birthday, which capped a fairytale run on the turf after claiming the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Irish Grand National earlier this year.

And the trainer, based in Moone, Co Kildare, says she has no intention of slowing down yet. She features on the cover of this month's 'Ireland's Own'. She told the magazine: "It becomes infectious. The horses are running the right way and everybody's in great form in the yard.

"When you win a big race, it's not just the yard, it's the whole area that seems to latch on to the joy.

"If you told me at Christmas about all the things that have happened to me since, I wouldn't believe it."

The trainer, who rides out most mornings, believes it is a mixture of luck and hard work.

"Racing is a funny thing, you need a lot of luck," she said.

"Nothing comes easy. Whatever you get, you work for it. Quite honestly, if you knuckle down and work hard, do your best, then at least you've tried."

After success in two of the biggest races in the calendar, she now has her sights on the Aintree Grand National.

Irish Independent

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