I was always a believer in the idea that if you aren’t employed, you can’t be sacked. That was always my dad’s advice!
You could keep your fingers in many pies and have lots of opportunities. I was offered the job with Paul Nicholls before Timmy Murphy took it, and after Timmy I was offered it again.
But it worked out as a dream scenario in the end where I went back to Paul with what I could do, which was a couple of days a week. That meant I could keep my job with Willie Mullins and ride for Paul in England.
It was getting your cake and eating it and that’s what I went for.
Diplomacy was the key skill at that time, organising days when I could ride in England and days when I was available to ride in Ireland.
Cheltenham was always the hardest in terms of a clash. Paul brought a couple of horses to Punchestown and Willie did the same with Aintree, but they didn’t support those events in huge numbers.
So Cheltenham and the Grand National would be the biggest clashes and then you had at times the Cheltenham November meeting clashing with the Morgiana meeting but they were the only big clashes that every year, you knew were coming.
You’d be trying to organise it to suit yourself best. I think Master Minded in the Schloer Chase might have clashed with Hurricane Fly in the Morgiana Hurdle, and I think I was in Navan the day Denman won in Bangor, but you tried to move them around as best you could.
Yes there were clashes and at times, I got some calls wrong. If I could have figured out how to ride two horses in one race, it would have made life so much easier!
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