Harrington: Horses Have Been “The Best Therapy” During Breast Cancer Battle

Jessica Harrington | Racingfotos.com

Jessica Harrington, who will bid to win her first Betfred Derby with Sprewell (Ire) (Churchill {Ire}), has described working with horses as “the best therapy” in her breast cancer battle. 

Sprewell was an impressive winner of a Group 3 Derby trial at Leopardstown earlier this month and the 76-year-old trainer believes the colt has what it takes to provide her with a breakthrough victory in the Epsom Classic. 

Speaking on a Zoom call organised by The Jockey Club, Harrington said, “I've been delighted with him. We knew he'd come on over the winter and he's run two good, solid races.

“He's come out of the Leopardstown run very well and we were delighted with him. He definitely stepped forward from there again and we're looking forward to Saturday week.”

Harrington added on the general 12-1 chance for the Derby, “I think the step up to a-mile-and-a-half will suit him–he ran through the line very strong (at Leopardstown) and he's a very strong and relaxed horse, which is the main thing. 

“Nothing seems to faze him and I think going the mile-and-a-half will suit him because I think he'll settle well, which he had done in both of his races this year.”

Harrington was diagnosed with breast cancer late last year. The dual Classic-winning trainer has spoken about how working in a busy yard has been a therapy during her recuperation and described her daughters Emma [Galway] and Kate as a massive help in ensuring the smooth running of the yard during that time.

She explained, “Things are great and I'm lucky enough to have finished the worst part of it now that the chemo is done. We're moving on to the next stage now and it'll take a bit longer, but I hope that I'll be out and about again very shortly. 

“The horses really have been a massive help to me and I'm really lucky to have a massive support team here.”

She added, “My daughters Kate and Emma and my son-in-law [Richie Galway] have been around all winter keeping things going and I did my best to get out every single day that I could to look at the horses, because that was the best therapy that I reckoned I had. 

“I went racing last Friday to Leopardstown. I didn't actually go on Sunday, but I go when it's nice and near and when I can. I'd be most likely to watch the Derby from home, but I'll see how I get on.”

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