Monday 11 November 2019

Jack Berry: The Harder He Worked the Luckier He Got

Jack Berry. 

He is a man who has worn many hats. A very talented horse trainer who made a name for himself by working hard and thinking clever. Known for wearing his lucky red shirt. I'm sure he coined the phrase: ''The harder I work, the luckier I get.''

I've never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Jack Berry MBE, but it would be a very special day to have an opportunity to chat about all and sundry. In truth, I wouldn't know where to start. 

I read a beautifully written post on the Racing Post, which detailed all of his successes. To be honest, Jack Berry built all of his success on a foundation of bloody hard work. He made me smile saying as a jump jockey he rode 47 winners but in the process broke 46 bones. 

His charitable work is something to be admired because he has always made a difference and continues to do so with Jack Berry House, a charity which literally saw him, with the help of millions of pounds of donations, build a house for injured jockeys to recuperate and find a new direction in the tough world of horse racing.  

Being interested in two-year-old horse racing, he captured my imagination. He revolutionised his training approach to farm winners from those early months of the season before the big guns displayed a wealth of talents. However, the thing which set Jack Berry apart from so many is that even when the competition got hotter he didn't wilt in the sun. You could guarantee one, two or three two-year-old talents would take their chance contesting races at the highest level. These bargain-basement buys would prove they could go head to head with the blue bloods and often show them the way home. 

Who could forget Mind Games, Paris House, Distinctly North, Laurel Queen, Almost Blue, Lucky Parkes, Palacegate Episode, Another Episode, Our Little Secret, So Careful and Jack Berry's favourite O I Oyston (Olly). 

Berry said:  He says without hesitation. "I just adored that horse. I rode him out every day and would even go out looking at cattle on him. I only had to whistle and he'd come. "He won 24 races, the last when he was aged 12, and when I retired I took him with me and had him turned out at home with Palacegate Touch – 'Archie' – who won 33, and Ansellman, who won 11. Can you imagine three prolific winners like them turned out together? Olly died when he was 31, but I've still got Archie and Ansellman."

Jack Berry is a living legend. The man who once wrote a book called: ''It's Tougher at the Bottom''. 

The difference with Berry is the fact he lived a hard, honest and determined life, from rags to riches. He continues to shine as a man of many successes and adored because he never forgot where he came from.

An example to us all. 

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