I knew going to Punchestown last May that I was going to be retiring. I had it in my head that from Kemboy onwards, if I won a Grade 1 race I would retire.
So it was great that Kemboy did win, a year ago today, and I knew as I landed over the last that Al Boum Photo wasn’t going to get to him.
Those last 100 yards, I knew that was it and I couldn’t wait to get to the line.
I’d had my fill of riding, and I enjoyed it thoroughly, but I was looking forward to the next stage.
People say to me, ‘can you put into words how you felt at that time?’ No, it’s almost impossible to put into words how you felt when you won something or how you felt in a moment.
I’ve always found it very difficult to put into words, but there’s relief and satisfaction. I would say relief was a lot of what I was feeling, to be honest.
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And I think that is the case in most big occasions when emotion explodes out of you, like when a soccer player converts a penalty.
Is he delighted with the skill in how he converted the penalty? No, he’s just relieved that the ball has hit the back of the net. It is relief that bursts out of you straight away.
It was a relief that I got to finish my career in the way that I wanted to, that I got to do it in the race that I hoped I would get to do it in.
I’ve always said the best jockeys are the ones that make the fewest mistakes. No-one sets out to get it wrong, but I think the most successful ones make the fewest mistakes.
That’s where the difference is. When you think you’re on the best horse, just put him in the right place and it’s going to happen.
FROM PADDY POWER’S RACING ICONS DOCUMENTARY WITH RUBY…
- I took Annie Power home for the summer… and horse joined our family BBQs!
- My biggest Cheltenham regret and one race I’d love to have a second chance at
- Ruby’s hilarious story about dad Ted’s terrible medical advice after nasty leg break