We are well aware of the horrendous injuries they have suffered and both men are going to need all the help we can give them.
This is the fifth year I’ve written a column for the Irish Examiner. I’ve given plenty of advice along the way, some of it good and more of it, well bad. There are times when I’ve made a few quid for you and, on other occasions, no doubt cost you.
But one thing I have never done is ask anyone for anything.
Well, I’m changing that today. I’m asking all those who can to come to Limerick on Monday to support the Emergency Jockeys’ Fund, JT and Jonjo.
John Thomas and Jonjo will have to be looked after in the same manner that Shane Broderick was and that will cost an awful lot of money.
But the money has to be found, anything else is unthinkable, and it is vital that everyone within this wonderful industry of ours does everything possible to ensure these boys are provided with whatever is needed to go forward in their lives.
Jonjo has made incredible progress, while I am delighted JT has been moved to Southport to get the treatment he richly deserves.
Indeed, it is hard to believe that in this year of 2013 there is no rehab facility in Ireland for anyone on a ventilator. After all this isn’t 1833!
Come to Limerick and show your support. All anyone wants for JT and Jonjo is that they are given what they need to dramatically improve their quality of life.
, where I have just two rides, starting with Clonard Lad in a two and a half mile maiden hurdle.
He’s had his problems, returning to action at Listowel, following a very long break.
He ran a cracker to finish second and I was more than pleased with him.
Clonard Lad found a bit of trouble in running, but I thought we’d win passing the hotel. In the end, though, he was beaten on merit, but there was no disgrace in that.
He should improve for that much-needed run and dropping back half a mile in trip is not a problem.
The eight-year-old is giving us every satisfaction at home and I have to be reasonably optimistic.
I ride Ringfort for Derek Barry in a wide-open handicap hurdle.
Derek trains next to Tom Taaffe and is actually in the same parish as my father. I’ve ridden this horse before and it is hard enough to make a case for him.
I start at Limerick tomorrow on Massini’s Trap for Jim Nash in a conditions hurdle.
He beat the subsequent winner, King Of The Picts, at Listowel, so his form is solid.
But this shapes like a useful enough contest and the one I greatly fear is Gordon Elliott’s Bayan, who is at the top of his game right now.
I team up with Indevan for Willie Mullins in a novice hurdle.
Que Pasa ran away from him at Galway and left me bitterly disappointed.
I rated this horse heading to Galway and, out of three rides, thought he was my best of the day. The other two won, leaving me utterly perplexed.
I just cannot explain it, he found nothing and walked up the hill. Any horse can run a stinker and I haven’t lost faith in him.
I ride another for Willie, Royal Moll, in a mares’ maiden hurdle. She’s run just once, taking a Sligo bumper. Royal Moll certainly isn’t fancy at home and is best described as workmanlike.
But I have found out over many years that they can often be the best horses and I’m hoping she is yet another example of that.
What I can tell you is that Royal Moll is in good form and has schooled well.
I’m looking forward to riding Benefficient for Tony Martin in a Grade 3 chase. We know he is a classy individual, as evidenced by his success in the Jewson at Cheltenham in March.
He reappeared at Listowel to finish fourth on the flat and that will surely have brought him on fitness-wise.
I would love if there was more ease in the ground, but I’m sure connections of his main rival, Tofino Bay, feel the same way.
I’m on bottom weight Sin Palo in the Munster National. I didn’t give him the best of rides last time at Galway, but, that said, it will be more than a pleasant surprise should he prove good enough to win a contest as competitive as this.
My own idea of the winner is Edward O’Grady’s Shot From The Hip.
I think Willie’s Raise Hell has a great chance in the concluding beginners’ chase.
He is hardly a leading light for Gigginstown House Stud, but does jump for fun.