Dundalk September 18th
Cautious Approach returns to her favourite track tomorrow after a vaguely frustrating summer. She hasn’t got rolling at any stage, primarily due to lack of opportunities and when she has ran things haven’t really gone to plan. She’s well drawn in a competitive race and hopefully she will run well. Everything seems irrelevant when one thinks of Pat Smullen and Frances and his children. My mind keeps wandering to his passing, it’s heartbreakingly sad. I didn’t know him, I only knew him as a jockey. The impact he had as a jockey was immense. To achieve all he did and put together and keep together a family and home. To receive a devastating cancer diagnosis, face that, recognise the opportunity and promptly raise millions for cancer research. How? Pat rode a couple of fancied ones for me when I started. I’d set off on the long journey north positively buoyed by that fact. It didn’t stack up, heading for a 45-65 in Dundalk and having Pat Smullen to ride them. It was like I had entered a parallel universe in which I didn’t belong. He made me feel I did. He took me seriously, this was everything to me, he had watched replays, he knew the opposition, where the pace was, he had a plan. It counted for a lot then and it does now. He was a real great, great days on great horses all over the world, yet on a miserable winter night in Dundalk he had a plan. Thinking of nobodies as somebodies doesn’t come easily to most, he could do it and it was easy.