When trainer Noel Meade's Helvic Dream stormed home to clinch the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup in May, the taste of victory must have been especially sweet.
Claiming your first-ever Group 1 win on flat is achievement enough. However, Meade's steed did so by beating Broome, a horse that has gotten the better of Helvic Dream three times already this season.
Naturally, Meade's triumph was the product of hard work and experience. However, the Navan trainer also admits that there was also a little bit of luck in how it all came together.
Chairperson of Navan Racecourse, Meade joined Off The Ball's Friday Night Racing this week as the racecourse celebrates its centenary this year. He told Ger Gilroy and Johnny Ward that, in the case of Helvic Dream, he was blessed with a bit of good fortune.
"[We've been] Very lucky over the last number of years with horses that we've bought. They didn't cost a lot of money, but turned out to be reasonable horses," Meade explained.
"Obviously, with Helvic Dream, it was a dream to win a Group 1 with him."
"He was a soft-ground horse, which probably was the reason that we ended up having him. If he had been a fast-ground horse, undoubtedly he would've went to Australia or he would've went abroad."
"You can't pick out one win - I enjoy them all"
However, Meade is reluctant to single out any win as his favourite. He is all too aware that victories in the feature races don't come around too often.
"Big races are great any day you win them", Meade continued. "It's very hard to say one is better than the other. Obviously, that was a fantastic day, but not having people there took away from it slightly."
"Finbarr Cahill is one of my very best friends. He's been a friend of mine and an owner of mine since back in the '70s. We're great pals - we've soldiered together all around the world. It was a pity that he wasn't there, but Finbarr enjoys a celebration!"
"I still think the first Galway Hurdle that Pinchhitter - who was owned by Finbarr Cahill - won was probably one of the best", Meade added. "It was a great breakthrough to win that race at the time, and I got a great kick out of that."
"But you can't pick out one and say it's better than the other. I enjoy them all - I still enjoy winning a race in Clonmel or anywhere."
"It's not easy to win - there's never any guarantee in it."