Santa Anita was a cauldron of emotion for me and I feel pretty exhausted now when I look back on an action-packed week where I’ve gone half way around the world and back again.
Obviously, the highlight was my win on Queen’s Trust in the Filly & Mare Turf. I’m flattered by the plaudits I seem to be getting and the whole race unfolded like the perfect dream for me.
I got lucky at the turn when I found myself behind the favourite (Lady Eli) and although she got first run on me, she had a target on her back and my girl really started to motor at just the right time.
It was a matter of whether or not the short straight would be too short but we got there in the final strides and I was thrilled.
Sir Michael (Stoute) is a Breeders’ Cup legend. He gets these horses ready for the meeting and Queen’s Trust had suffered more than her fair share of bad luck this season. I knew that if it all fell right we’d have more than a chance.
She has always had the gears but rarely had the luck. You need a bit of luck on a track like Santa Anita but between us we got it spot on and I was elated.
In the immediate aftermath of the race I had plenty of time to reflect on my good fortune as the post-race formalities seemed to take a little longer than usual.
I began to think of my mate back home, Freddy Tylicki, and how fickle this game can be. Although Breeders’ Cup wins are amongst the most coveted prizes in the sport I’d have gladly swapped them all to have heard that things weren’t as bad as they seem to be for Freddy.
I’m reminded again how cruel this job can be and Freddy’s news has really shaken me.
The Weighing Room is ferociously competitive and I love that sense of battle, but it’s also where my best mates are too, so when the chips are down for one of our own we rally round in the best possible way.
The way Racing is coming together to support Freddy is inspiring. On the biggest stages, like Santa Anita, we’ve still got to get our priorities right.
My Breeders’ Cup win was for you Freddy.
Keep fighting mate.