Evan Williams was left fighting back the tears in the Haydock winner’s enclosure after seeing daughter Isabel steer Dans Le Vent to victory in the Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle.
It takes something a little bit special to bring out the emotions in the Welsh trainer, who is no stranger to big-race success thanks to the exploits of flying grey Silver Streak among others.
But even he was struggling to find the words to describe his feelings after Dans Le Vent secured Grade Three honours and the lion’s share of £100,000 on Merseyside.
He said: “It’s magical. The kid does all the work with this horse and it’s brilliant.
“I wouldn’t have run the horse to be honest, but Isabel said we should run in that race at Haydock. I thought she must fancy a day out on Merseyside!
“I thought it was stupid, but I said on the TV I’m a dinosaur and there’s no doubt that I am! It’s a good job the kids are there to point me in the right direction.”
He added: “It’s the biggest win of Isabel’s career and it’s great – it’s mad how it works out sometimes.
“Every day is special, but having daughters riding in racing must be a penance for something I’ve done in a previous life – I must have done something very wrong!
“It’s tough because you’ve got to be a professional, but you’ve also got to be a father, so when something like this happens it kicks you in the guts a bit – I thought I wasn’t like that.
“It’s very special.”
The winning rider said: “The horse has been ultra-reliable and they always say in the race descriptions ‘given too much to do’. He gets to the front and pricks his ears and only thinks he needs to win by a nose.
“He was brilliant today and the step up in trip really helped. I was fairly confident throughout, but you can only ask him once and I’m glad I didn’t need to use my petrol early.”
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