Just Months After Contemplating His Future . . . David Pritchard Is Enjoying Life Back On The Saddle Following Welsh Grand National Win - Dai Sport

By Graham Thomas

David Prichard admits life has not modified past recognition simply because he rode the winner on the Coral Welsh Grand National.

But one month on at the least he can look again on December’s sacrifices – like a “very meagre portion” of Christmas Day dinner – and replicate that it was all worthwhile.

The Welsh jockey, who grew up within the village of Pen-y-coedcae close to Pontypridd, loved the largest win of his profession when he rode the 16-1 shot The Two Amigos to victory at Chepstow’s showpiece race on December 27.

Not solely was it simply Prichard’s fourth win of the season, however it was a a lot greater private triumph for a jockey who had questioned his future within the sport after time spent on the sidelines following a severe again harm suffered final July.

The 30-year-old conditional jockey was injured in a fall throughout coaching at Nicky Martin’s stables in Somerset, broke a bone in his again, and spent weeks laying horizontally with nothing a lot to do besides ponder the long run.

“The worst factor about it was not a lot the ache – you get used to that fairly shortly – however the sheer period of time you must spend doing nothing,” he says.

“You are watching everybody else progress and go on with their lives and also you’re simply sat there doing nothing.

“I’ve been lucky in my time to not be too badly affected by accidents, however I do know different folks clearly haven’t had nice runs, and it does make you concentrate on issues.”

One of the treats he loved the day after his Welsh Grand National victory was a correct turkey dinner with pudding and all of the trimmings – a celebration that appeared a good distance off final summer time in addition to earlier in his profession.

Prichard went again to being an beginner jockey when he was 26 after turning into disillusioned with hunger diets searching for rides that had been hardly ever profitable.

After time spent working in an workplace – which he hated – after which constructing fences and laying backyard patios – which he loved extra – he went again into skilled racing simply on the time the game was re-emerging after the pandemic.

“It’s gone higher than I assumed. I had no actual expectations, however I’ve loved it and whereas everybody else I knew was locked down I used to be capable of do some racing across the nation.

“The Welsh Grand National win hasn’t made a lot distinction to my life from the skin, however for me it appears like all the hassle and hardship has been worthwhile.

“All the times if you go on a protracted journey throughout the nation and are available again empty-handed, successful a giant race makes all these issues a bit simpler and also you push via.

“I had plenty of messages from previous pals – even schoolfriends I hadn’t heard from for years – and it makes you realise how a lot attain the race truly has.”

The victory additionally enabled Prichard to even up the rating a bit of in his sibling battle with youthful sister Charlotte, 27, who loved a massively profitable first season driving in France with 47 winners.

Last yr she was the highest feminine leap jockey in France and fifth within the full jockey championship.

“She’s second of their leap jockey title race in the meanwhile and simply doing so effectively on the market.

“She’s additionally had a grade one winner in Italy as effectively, so she’s outdone me to this point and been by far the extra profitable jockey.”

Both realized to experience on their dad and mom’ smallholding earlier than racing as amateurs after spells working at stables in France.

The victory at Chepstow was a major one for coach Martin, too, as a missed entry deadline a yr in the past meant the horse was unable to problem after ending fifth in 2019 and an in depth second a season later.

The 10-year-old noticed off The Big Breakaway and The Big Dog in entrance of enthusiastic spectators who had principally been denied attendance on the race since 2019 due to restrictions imposed throughout the pandemic.

“Looking again it was a beautiful day for us, the place all the things went proper together with the bottom,” says Prichard.

“He had run effectively twice within the race earlier than and he was carrying rather a lot much less weight this time. He had a little bit of an in-and-out yr final season, however he’s come again and that was in all probability the largest win of Nicky’s coaching profession as effectively.”

As for the long run, Prichard is hoping to subsequent experience The Two Amigos on the Grand National Trial at Haydock on February 18.

“He would in all probability should win that race to face a sensible probability of entering into the Grand National and even when he did the bottom isn’t essentially going to go well with him at the moment of yr.

“But you by no means know. I will surely like to experience him there. He’s only a incredible little horse.”

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