Ambitious young trainer Damian English took a colossal gamble when initially taking out his trainers’ licence. English was a decent if unspectacular jockey, although he was undeniably hamperered with injuries throughout his short careerand eventually had little option other than retiring from the saddle.
Forced to consider an alternative path, English initially tried his hand working alongside his father in an industrial factory but it was short lived. His passion remained horse racing and, once that bug gets you, there is little else that interests you.
29th of July 2011 is a special date for Damian English, being that of his first official victory as a trainer. His pride and joy, Cash or Casualty, beat the well-fancied and Dermot Weld’trained Along Came Casey at the Galway Festival.
Cash or Casualty was given a very tactical ride by jockey Ben Curtis, who broke attentively from the stalls on the horse but was more than happy to track the leaders. When approaching the home turn, Curtis took the initiative and kicked on for the lead. After that decision, the rest of the field were racing in vein as Cash or Casualty romped home.
An endearing horse, Cash or Casualty went on to record a further eight victories, affording English a significant headstart in his fledging training career.
Since then, Damian English has gone from strength-to-strength. Each season has marked steady progression and he has demonstrated an uncanny knack for steadily improving horses when other trainers have failed. This includes front runner Tribal Path, who infrequently runs a bad race, Red Avenger and Bluesbreaker, all of whom have unquestionably put this small-time trainer right on the horse racing map. As a result, he has been observed by outside owners and syndicates who are now prepared to take a punt on him.
£800 purchase Geological is another inmate from the yard of Damian English who horse racing enthusiasts have grown to love. With a deliberate frontrunning style which has seen him become one of the most dependable horses in training, to date Geological has netted connections well over £120,000 in prize money and a few runs in Dubai. What more could any owner ask for?
The heavier backed trainers and owners inevitably dominate the Irish horse racing scene with their array of well-bred horses. However, Damian English is unquestionably capable of making his own mark and taking the big boys on at any given opportunity.
English has a very good team behind him, headed by his brother Craig, and their understanding of his approach allows the yard to produce some fantastic results. The sky looks to be the limit in terms of progression for a team such as who are willing to work for their rewards.
The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in determination. Damian English are sufficiently motivated and brash to go all the way in a sport that requires such singlemindedness.
It looks as though the calibre of horses coming through his tenure will keep on improving and it’s only a matter of time before English gets the recognition he deserves by producing a big winner or a classic contender. The best of Damian English is yet to come.
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