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Amateur jockey Sam Wally-Cohen insisted he would not back down from his decision to retire, but admitted that watching someone else ride his Randux Grand National winner’s horse, Nobel Yates, “would make a girlfriend feel like she was leaving with someone else.”
The 39-year-old revealed last week that his ride in Saturday’s race would be his last and that he would return to his desk on Monday morning after winning the world’s most famous steeplechase.
Wally-Cohen, who won Saturday’s Grand National with a 50-1 chance owned by his father Robert, founded the dental firm Portman Healthcare in 2008 and is its CEO.
The family planned to fly to Ireland today (Sunday) to see Nobel Yates and coach Emmet Mullins, who won the race with his first runner.
Speaking to the Jockey Club, Wally-Cohen explained: “I’ll be back to work 100% on Monday! Life goes on and one of the things I’ve learned is that things like these are incredible heights and you have to make a steady resumption back in life, otherwise the situation below is very serious, so moving on with it is actually quite helpful.
“I’ll be in the office and we got a conference in Manchester on Tuesday and I’ll be there so it’s really forward. It’s great and there’s nothing better than having people to support you. “
Despite years of hard work and his 10 years of winning in Entre SaturdayM Attempts by the Grand National, he insisted he was not tempted to come out of retirement.
Asked what it would be like for other jockeys to wear the color of his horse owner, Robert, and even ride his Grand National-winning horse, he said: “Other jockeys have carried my father’s color before. The work was so busy that I could not ride every horse.
“When you have a horse like Noble Yates, you think a girlfriend is going out with someone else!
“While everything in this situation is fun, they are family days and you can enjoy it as a family day even if you are not riding a bike.”
There was no wild party after that – Annabelle, 40, just a long trip home in a wheelchair and a chance to read a congratulatory message on her phone.
Wally-Cohen, the only amateur rider to ever win the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National, added: “Honestly, it was a long journey!
“We were sitting in a traffic jam so I had a chance to read the messages and after that there were a lot of greetings and a lot of incredible messages. I watched replays and people answered and really enjoyed it.
“Winning the Gold Cup in the long run feels different and you can truly understand that it is a people’s race. The Grand National Gold Cup captures everyone’s imagination separately and you can only get a sense of excitement. Looks like a lot of people really enjoyed the story, which is very special.
“My phone is red! It’s beautiful because I have so many beautiful messages and so many kind words and I think in the long run this is what you remember.
“I watched the race with social media friends at The Jockey Club on the racecourse before returning home. I actually walked the path to give some tips to a jockey Alice (Stevens) who didn’t run it before Thursday.
“They recorded it all and then told me on Saturday that they weren’t really expecting a chat from Grand National-winner Jockey!” I looked back on the race and we were lucky, what a thrilling race! ”
Many of Wally-Cohen’s family and friends were there to watch the history unfold, including wife Annabelle and her children Max, No, Scarlett, six and two-year-old Gender.
The exceptions, however, were his sister who was abroad and his brother Thomas, who died tragically in 2004 at the age of 20 from cancer.
He added: “My sister was sadly away from the holiday which she had booked and was returned due to the epidemic so unfortunately she could not make it, but without it it was a complete family affair.
“My kids will never forget it and I think the big two are completely overwhelmed. It was a surreal experience and you can’t be bigger than that so they will spend a long time hunting for another day like this!”
“They loved it and today we had a great family day, enjoying breakfast with trophies on the table! We will definitely keep pictures around the house for the next year.
“Days like these are family days and it’s very noticeable if no one is there as a family. These days your mind always goes to Thomas, but it’s also a reflection of joy and a bit of reflection.
“Dad is trying to organize everything so we’re going to see if we can’t get to Ireland on time for ‘Homecoming’ this evening.”
Despite the competition’s total prize money being worth £ 1 million and the winning jockey usually receiving around পা 50,000, Wally-Cohen gets nothing as an amateur.
However, he explained that the money was not lost and would rather be put to good use, including the prize money for his Cheltenham Gold Cup win in 2011 and Becher Chase’s win at the 2014 Oscar-time entry.
He said: “As an amateur rider I don’t get a share of the prize money but I think a good part of it goes to the Amateur Jockey Association, so they’ve probably been able to spend more days in the sun than each of the long runs. , Oscar Time and Nobel Yates more than their budget!
In a separate interview with Sky Sports Racing this morning, Wally-Cohen insisted that it was not yet over that he could now call himself a Grand National-winning jockey.
He explained: “Honestly, we are still waiting to wake up! We’re pinching ourselves and asking ourselves if this is true, so it’s a bit of a fantasy and doesn’t feel like it’s actually off.
“Life goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.
“I think from the moment I got to the course I felt the amount of goodwill and the people were really generous with me. I’m going to retire and say I did well and enjoy everything – so it was a special day before the race. . People were so generous with their thoughts and their good wishes and it overwhelmed us. “
Speaking further about his brother’s death 18 years ago, Wally-Cohen added: “Before Thomas died I was riding a bike but when Libertin suddenly won at Cheltenham in 2005 this was probably the first really good thing that happened after his death and it really We all got together, so the race was a bit totem to get everyone together and to spend the day racing together with a common interest.
“It’s something we’ve enjoyed and sometimes sympathized with, but we’re always together no matter what the outcome, and that’s what makes it so special.
“Before I rode, my father had a horse and he rode. We’re breeding some horses at home now and we’ve got Liberthine here among others, so it’s an addiction that’s hard to stay away from and it’s something we can continue to enjoy together and we’ll continue to do so.
“I don’t have an immediate replacement (for the thrill of race riding) but life as an entrepreneur, athlete and family man is full – it’s really intense so it’s good to hold your breath for a second. I think they find you when you want to live and when you look for the interests of life, so I don’t think I’ll be bored there. “
Wally-Cohen has also revealed why he did not become a professional in his career.
He said: “For professional jockeys, I have nothing but compliments – it’s an incredibly difficult life that comes with stress and trauma as well as walking.
“Yes, there are successes but there is an incredible toughness that they have to have and for me I wanted to play it out of love. I never wanted to win a race and think about money.
“I wanted to be involved in racing for every bit of experience, a point-to-point where there was no point in talking or whether it was the Gold Cup – it was irrelevant to me.
“It simply came to our notice then. You can’t escape from it to some extent and I thought it would change the game for me. I was in a position where as an entrepreneur I had a business that I wanted to pursue and it allowed me to do both. “
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