For me, for Laura, for Dad: Richardson overcomes adversity to ride treble
A day after attending the funeral of her close friend Laura Barry and only hours after learning her father had suffered a heart attack, Rachel Richardson mustered the strength to ride out her claim with an emotional treble at Beverley on Tuesday.
Richardson had earlier left the course to drive to Castle Hill hospital in Hull, where her dad John is currently in a stable condition following a successful operation, but her uncle urged her to return to Beverley to take her rides.
She had just arrived back in England after attending the funeral in Limerick on Monday of former jockey Barry, who died last Friday morning at the age of 25 following a battle with cancer.
“It was a case of winning one for Laura, one for Dad and one for myself,” she said. “It meant an awful lot to me because I was a bit all over the place and very nearly didn’t ride.
“I must have put the emotion into my rides. I was at Laura’s funeral on Monday and missed a winning ride on Midnight Malibu, and Dad said not to worry, you’ve got good horses at Beverley.
“Thankfully it finished well in the end and he's stable. I went to see him after the racing to tell him about my winners and sent him the videos last night – he’s my biggest fan!”
Richardson passed the 90-winner mark with victories on Stormin Tom, Ghayyar and Island Song for Tim Easterby, who has been pivotal to her development.
She said: “It was a massive achievement for me and something that was more of a dream when I started racing, as I only had a handful of rides as an amateur.
“When I started with Tim, I wasn’t a strong rider. I’d done a bit of showjumping but worked hard and learned quickly from the better lads in the yard. Tim gave me the opportunity to ride, firstly as a bit of fun, and we went from there.
“I was never rushed through it and he supported me the whole time. I only rode horses I was capable of riding and improved with them.”
Richardson rode a career-best tally of 27 in 2016, which dropped to 16 the following year, and made it 19 for the campaign on Wednesday evening when winning aboard 40-1 shot Super Kid at Wolverhampton. She now has her sights set on beating her record.
She added: “I didn’t have the best return last season, but did have a lot more quality victories. Now I’m just going to get my head down and hopefully keep riding lots of winners.”
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