Have you ever wondered what music a top racehorse trainer listens to? National Hunt legend Lucinda Russell, who has sent out more than 900 winners from her Scottish base, including two Grand National victors, has revealed the eight tunes that mean the most to her on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.
From growing up in a non-horsey family to forging a career with great success, interspersed with tragedy, Lucinda’s life has been a fascinating one, which she talks about candidly in her Desert Island Disks episode.
Lucinda Russell’s Desert Island Discs selection
1. The song that reminds Lucinda of the preparation that goes into her horses and the team behind her.
Lucinda says her yard has grown a great deal and that this year there was “a bit of a siege mentality”.
“There’s a line in this song that says ‘This is it boys, this is war, this is what we’ve waited for’ and preparing horses to race and then go out and compete is a bit like war and the team trying to do the best they can.”
2. The song that reminds Lucinda of her mother.
“This song is really my mother’s influence. She would always say ‘never tell your age, it’s only a number’ and to stay young and enjoy yourself.”
3. The first song Lucinda remembers as a child
“This is the first song I can really remember. I love Lee Marvin and he was a cowboy and obviously cowboys have a link to horses. It reminds me of care-free days when I was younger, walking barefoot to the beach and leading beach ponies around.”
4. The track that links Lucinda and her day-to-day life as a racehorse trainer
“The way that Billy Joel describes all the different characters in this song is fabulous and it’s really a song about observing and listening to peoples, and that’s what I do all the time.”
5. Although Lucinda has suffered losses in her her life, this is a song that gives her hope.
“I love the optimism in this song and while we can all have tragedy in our lives, I love that thing about waking up in the morning, the sun is high in the sky and today is the day that you can achieve what you want.”
6. A track that resonates with Lucinda around victory.
“This band, who like their racing, are from Galway in Ireland. This song is just fabulous and it is about the desire to win and the verve and grit it takes.”
7. A song that reminds Lucinda of her parents and her partner Peter ‘Scu’ Scudamore
“This is the really emotional one for me. We played it at dad’s funeral and it’s a true love song which is all about mum and dad for me, but actually now it’s swung around and it reminds me of Scu. He means so much to me and he has transformed my life. We met in 2006 and he has supported me through so many different things and he’s my rock, so this is my love song to him really.”
8. The track that reminds Lucinda of the owners she has met during her career.
“One of the great things about training racehorses, isn’t just the horses but the owners you get to meet too. We have some lovely owners, some of which very kindly invited us out to Majorca. When we were there, they said they had some guests coming for lunch and one of the guests was Anna Freid from ABBA, which was fantastic. By the end of the lunch we were all singing ABBA songs, which was quite embarrassing really, but this song really encapsulated that day.”
- Listen to Lucinda Russell’s Desert Island Disks episode
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