Lillywhite Lenny

...Well what a marvellous spectacle we've witnessed here today at Cheltenham, Lillywhite Lenny, a rank outsider, romped home in the final steeplechase of this April Meeting. A magnificent performance from this horse, the first time this feisty two-year-old has raced at this level. His trainer, I'm sure, will be very pleased. A first, too, for jockey Brendan O'Connell, who is just coming into the press enclosure now, so we should be able to catch a few words. Brendan! Brendan, over here! A few words please. A magnificent performance, you must be very proud.

Oh, well, you know. It was a good race.

Tell us what you were thinking when you were coming down that final straight and the winning post came in sight?

Ah, well, mainly I was thinking about not falling off the horse.

Racing at this level must take a great deal of concentration.

Ah, sure enough. They get awful jiggy, some of these horses. Very easy to just slip off.

Of course. So how do you prepare for a race like this?

Well, there's not really a great deal of preparation needed. It's the horse that does all the work, I just have to stay on it.

You lost some ground in the early stages of the race. What went through your head when you slipped back two places at the second corner?

I was thinking about staying on the horse. I was hanging on really tight, so I was.

Were you considering a change of tactics when that happened?

No, I was just trying to stay on the horse, you know. Just holding on tight and trying not to fall off the fecker.

What was your main concern at that point?

Trying to stay on the feckin' horse.

It must have taken all your concentration to hold back for that final sprint.

It took all my concentration to stay on the feckin' horse. It's a bastard, so it is. But it can run faster than I can, so it's important that I try to stay on it.

What were you thinking during that magnificent final charge?

I was thinking about staying on the bloody thing.

So, all in all, you must be very pleased with Lillywhite Lenny's performance here today?

Ah, if I had my way it would be on its way to the glue factory, the fecker.

Brendan, thanks for taking time out to speak to us. I'm sure you're eager to be off and join the celebrations. Any last words of wisdom for the budding jockeys out there who want to follow in your footsteps?

Yes.

And they are... ?

Try to stay on the feckin' horse. I can't stress that strongly enough. I'm surprised you had to ask.

Brendan O'Connell, thank you for your time.

 


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