Paddy Power’s Cheltenham Rewind: Paul Carberry reveals how his back ‘exploded’ riding Festival winner

Paul Carberry joins Paddy Power and Ruby Walsh to relive his greatest moments in the saddle at the Cheltenham Festival.


Jockey Paul Carberry reveals how his back ‘exploded’ seconds before he rode his first ever winner at the Cheltenham Festival for trainer Noel Meade.

The Meath man famously rode Sausalito Bay against famed rivals Youllneverwalkalone and Best Mate to win the Supreme Novices Hurdle in 2002.

But speaking on The Cheltenham Festival Rewind, which airs at 11pm on Virgin Media Two tonight and will be available to watch from midnight via Paddy Power’s YouTube channel, Carberry shared a little known fact that made this time in the winners enclosure all the more memorable.

“I was after getting a fall a couple of weeks before it when I was out hunting and I broke a bone in my back. I just got back in time for the race,” he explained.

But he carried massive bruising as a result of the injury into to festival, and it came back to haunt him just as he jumped the last hurdle.


“I was grand early on but as I was coming to the last the haematoma burst. I thought somebody had hit me with a whip across the back I was in that much pain. I thought to myself, this is going to be my only chance of a winner, I better toughen up. So I kept the head down and we won.”

“It was Noel’s first winner. He got down and kissed the ground. I couldn’t even give him a hug I was that sore!”

Having been stood down for the remainder of the day to receive medical attention, Paul was back in the saddle by the last day of the festival (a Thursday then) and went on to finish second on Florida Pearl in the Gold Cup.

This, along with many more unforgettable festival moments, including his infamous ride on Harchibald in the 2005 Champion Hurdle, form part of the discussion as Carberry joins Paddy Power and Ruby Walsh to relive his greatest moments in the saddle at the Cheltenham Festival tonight on Virgin Media Two at 11pm.

The show will be available on YouTube from 11.59pm tonight (March 9th) via Paddy Power’s YouTube channel.


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