Cork trainer Paddy Twomey was a guest on Friday Night Racing this week, and he reeled in the years to recall buying his first filly in his early teens, and having a Group One winner not long after.
Twomey runs Fantasy Lady in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh this Sunday, with the horse in solid form having returned to the track at Naas in March.
Twomey told Johnny Ward and Ger Gilroy his interest in horse breeding and racing goes back many years.
"I had an interest in horses from a young age - we always had National Hunt horses at home, and I for whatever reason always had an interest in the flat.
"The first thing I bought when I was 13 or 14 was a filly, and I sold her and bought another one. I bred a Group One winner Tagula when I was 14 maybe.
"I've been very lucky with horses in general - I've bought and sold them, bred them, pinhooked them, raced them, you name it I've done it with them."
The story behind Twomey's success with Tagula is a particularly memorable one.
"My Dad actually went to the sales and bought a couple of foals, I was I suppose 11 or 12. She was one of them and he gave like three grand for her and they sold her as a yearling and I think she made six or seven [grand].
"I was convinced she was a very good horse and was going to make a lot of money and couldn't believe that the market thought she was only worth that.
"So a year went by and she wasn't much of a racehorse, and I happened to be talking to Declan Gillespie who trained her - he said she was there and that the man who owned her was from Trinidad and she wasn't going to run on fast ground.
"Basically she was surplus to requirements so I saved up what I had and [on the] 29th of February 1992 I got my Dad to drive me up to the Curragh and we collected her!
#FridayNightRacing on @offtheball's social channels from 3 PM. 🏇@paddytwomey is the guest this week ahead of the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at @curraghrace this Sunday where he runs Fantasy Lady. 😃 pic.twitter.com/XbpsWDHPho
— Horse Racing Ireland (@HRIRacing) May 21, 2021
"We brought her home and Liam Cashman and my Dad, both have passed since... Liam Cashman gave me a foal to share to Taufan because there was a horse in the pedigree someway related to Taufan.
"We covered her a few weeks later and the result 11 or 12 months later was Tagula, so I was very lucky."
Twomey says he has throughout his life made decisions following one simple creed.
"I've always followed my gut and I've always done what I thought was right from a very young age, whether it was with cattle or horses or property or anything.
"Horses have been very kind to me and I've been very lucky with them. Sometimes I can't explain to you why I like a horse or why I believe in a horse but that was case-in-point."