Davy Russell, jockey
“Any winner at the festival is a highlight. I’ve been lucky enough to ride some very good horses and lucky enough that they won. You never forget your first one, so Native Jack winning the Cross Country in 2006 was a big monkey off the back and I’ve been lucky enough after that to ride plenty of winners over there. Winning the Gold Cup on Lord Windermere in 2014 was a bit special, to be fair. It was very dramatic for everybody involved and it was just great that it worked out. It was a tough old year in the build-up (he lost his job as Gig- ginstown’s retained first jockey the previous December) but winning the Gold Cup helped to put the whole thing behind me, so it was great.
“I was always going to drop him in a bit but they went so quick, my horse was outpaced early and I felt whatever chance I had was dependent on keeping him some way on the bridle. He jumped so well, and he got himself back into a fighting position with a mile to go and the further they were going, the better chance I was having. Lord Windermere sweated like a pig before the race but it didn’t seem to bother him. He rose to the occasion.”