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Derham makes a dream start





Harry Derham made the perfect start to life as a racehorse trainer when his first ever runner Seelotmorebusiness won at Huntingdon on Boxing Day.

Derham's dream start was made even more special by the fact that Seelotmorebusiness, who was returning from a 442 day injury lay-off, is owned by his parents.

The handler is a self-confessed "nervous watcher" but soon settled in as the seven-year-old, ridden by Paul O'Brien, cleared the first two fences with confidence before hitting his stride and finishing 12 lengths clear of his nearest challenger, Nigel Twiston-Davies' Moveit Like Minnie.

Harry Derham with Seelotmorebusiness. Pic: Francesca Altoft Photography
Harry Derham with Seelotmorebusiness. Pic: Francesca Altoft Photography

"It was an extraordinary day," Derham said.

"To have a winner with my first runner, owned by mum and dad, was a better result than I could've dreamed of.

"I was extremely nervous all day, my alarm was scheduled to go off at quarter to five in the morning and I was awake well before then, my stomach was doing somersaults.

"It was odd because I knew the horse was going there in good shape, that he was really well prepared and that he had a decent chance of doing well, but because it was my first runner and I so desperately wanted it to go well, I couldn't help but feel nervous.

"The calmest I felt was when he was racing, he and Paul (O'Brien) got into a great rhythm and the two of them ran the perfect race.

"I went from such nerves to such sheer joy, I can't describe how good it felt."

Derham, who spent six seasons as assistant trainer to Paul Nicholls before making the step up, is temporarily based at Upper Lambourn's Frenchman's House while he awaits completion of his Boxford yard, 20 minutes east of his current site.

The 28-year-old admits there's "never a perfect time" to start training – and that's perhaps truer now than ever – but believes he's got the perfect team around him to achieve success, meaning it is "the right time".

He said: "This probably isn't the best time to start out, with the cost of everything going up.

"I'm a little bit of a believer that there's never a perfect time to take these jumps, it's a calculated risk but it feels like the right time to take it.

"I've got a great team around me, I've got people around me that can make this a success, we're loving it so far."

Derham, whose shareholders include the likes of cricketers Craig and Jamie Overton and motor racing driver Harry Tincknell, is keeping his 2023 targets close to his chest but is upbeat about the prospects of more winners before too long.

"I do set targets, although I like to keep them in house, but you can have a fair bet that I just achieved one of them on Boxing Day," he said.

"We know it won't all be plain sailing but we're definitely optimistic about what's to come, we've got some really good horses in training."



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