There’s more to this jockey than meets the eye, says Catherine Austen, as they chat about mental health, “date nights” and learning to love racing again
It could be said that what defines a sportsman isn’t success, but failure. The best learn from defeat, use it to improve and move on – quickly.
When H&H speaks to National Hunt jockey David Bass at 10am on a Sunday morning, it is less than 24 hours since he was unseated at the second fence from odds-on favourite and 2020 Cheltenham Festival winner Imperial Aura in a Grade Two at Kempton. It would have been no surprise if he hadn’t picked up the phone, but he does.
“Not a great day,” he says with understatement – of his three other rides, one favourite was beaten into third and two were pulled up. “But I deal with it in a different way now. At one time I would have beaten myself up and gone over and over it; now I don’t put myself through so much suffering. It doesn’t do me or anyone close to me any good.”
Racing provided yet another great couple of day’s of sport at Ascot and Haydock Park last weekend (23-24 January). Photographer