Racing: Jay makes merry as Fury turns serene

After showing a degree of promise in his first two races, this fine, strong animal obstinately refused to enter the starting gate at Beverley. He would be required to pass a Jockey Club stalls test before he could be entered for another Flat race, and after two failures he was banned for six months.

"On his second start he had worn a hood into the stalls, and unfortunately just kept going and banged his head," Jay recalled yesterday. "After that, though he was a christian at home, once back on the track he just didn't want to know."

So here was Jay at the start of the new Flat season, only his third as a trainer, all dressed up and nowhere to go. Tidal Fury was fit and ready to run, so he resourcefully persuaded the owners to let him sample hurdles in France, where three-year-olds can start much earlier.

Last weekend, Tidal Fury won his fourth race over there in a canter, taking his earnings past €260,000 (£175,000). This was a Grade One at Auteuil, and the French regard Tidal Fury as much the best young jumper they have seen this year.

Dean Gallagher reported that he has never been so confident in a race. "He has such a big stride and I never heard any of the others," the jockey said. "There was so much left in the tank. I was almost in shock at the post."

Not as astonished, however, as anyone who saw Tidal Fury finish a mediocre third at Market Rasen in July. "But the style of racing is so different," Jay said. "Here it is all about speed, they clip the hurdles to keep the tempo up. In France, with bigger obstacles and softer ground, he has been able to get into his stride and dominate."

He has duly dismissed any possibility of preparing Tidal Fury for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, and will instead rest him before returning to France next year. In the meantime he trusts that the owners will continue to resist the "scary money" on the table. Even one of the horses Tidal Fury has beaten is apparently subject of an offer of £300,000.

"I already owe the owners a lot of thanks for the way they have stuck by me," Jay said. "Fortunately we all seem to take the same view, that this is a once-in-a-lifetime horse. It's a syndicate of 12, so whatever figure comes in has to be divided a dozen ways.

"If we were talking about one owner, then of course it might be a life-changing opportunity. But they have loved just being involved, especially taking on the French. Everyone is so reserved at Auteuil, whereas we were all cheering even as he led them past the stands for the first time.

"The French were all shaking their heads, saying that the English didn't realise there was still another lap to go."

Jay spent two years in Chantilly himself as assistant to Miriam Bollack-Badel, during which time she had a Group One winner in Reve d'Oscar. He had originally intended no more than a six-week sabbatical from a career in advertising.

"I just felt that I had to get racing out of my blood," he explained. "And I couldn't. Fortunately my family understand my philosophy, which is that mine is not a job with very long hours, but a way of life."

Before taking out a licence, Jay completed his education with Val Ward and then Dave Morris. When he saddled his first winner, at Catterick two summers ago, he offered a memorable tribute. "Dave taught me everything I know," he said. "But not everything he knows."

Jay has since expanded to fill two small yards, Exeter House in the centre of Newmarket and an overflow at Warren Place.

Having saddled a winner at the very first regional race meeting, he has drawn attention by finding a suitable niche for moderate animals and then getting them to thrive: So Elegant won four races this year, for instance, and Woolstone Boy three.

"You see them gain confidence," Jay said. "Some of the owners of Tidal Fury are also involved in So Elegant, and they cheer just as loudly when they win a banded race as they did after the Grade One. People who have that kind of enthusiasm give you such heart."

Richard Edmondson

Nap: Present Glory

(Taunton 1.40)

NB: Ready To Rumble

(Ludlow 2.00)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living