Fighting Spirit of Lough Derg
When it comes to jaw-dropping good looks, near perfect confirmation and champion genes, Lough Derg was not blessed with any of them. Yet somehow, something in him attracted owner William Frewen when he was actually looking at buying a different horse. Frewen was able to negotiate for Lough Derg instead and has supported him throughout his jumps racing career that began six years ago. The pride and accomplishment that Lough Derg has brought Frewen cannot be matched, and jockey Tom Scudamore could not love him more even if he tried.
Tom Scudamore found himself in the exact same position as he did a year ago, on board Lough Derg at Fontwell Park for the running of the National Sprint Hurdle. After an emotional victory last year, both Lough Derg and Scudamore went into the event with confidence and strength. One attribute to Lough Derg that no other horse can come close to, is his unrivaled determination and his heartfelt courage. So even though it seemed that he might have fallen out of contention for the race a few times, Lough Derg kept fighting back. At the last jump he saw his chance and pulled away from the rest of the competitors on the uphill leading to the finish line.
Once Lough Derg had his eye on the victory there was no horse in the National Sprint Hurdle that could have stopped him. Pierrot Lunaire finished in second. Scusamore’s affection for Lough Derg was evident after the race, commenting, “Every jockey needs a horse to define his early career. My father had Broadsword and I’ve got Lough Derg.” The victory has opened a few doors at the Cheltenham Festival for the jumps racing champion, with Frewen jokingly teasing by saying: “He’s quoted for the Coral Cup, which is on the Wednesday, and the World Hurdle on the Thursday, so I’m sure he could run in both – and probably be the Champion on the Tuesday if we’d thought to enter him.” No matter what the future holds for Lough Derg, one thing is certain, he deserves the hero’s applause he received in the winners circle, and his fighting spirit will see him take on and conquer future challenges.