Joyous scenes in Paris will live long in the memory for The Platinum Queen’s groom
Although Hollie Doyle rightly received plenty of plaudits for her ride on The Platinum Queen at ParisLongchamp on Sunday, it was the flying filly’s groom Cole Harris who captured the imagination of the racing public with his enthusiastic celebrations after the two-year-old had crossed the line.
The Platinum Queen is ridden mostly by Richard Fahey’s stable jockey Oisin Orr in her work at home, but Harris is the lucky one who gets to take the Middleham Park Racing-owned superstar to the races.
A fledgling amateur pilot in his own right, Harris has partnered three winners from his seven rides under rules so far, while he also has a love for excavators outside of the sport. However, neither riding winners nor steering Bobcats come before his favourite filly, who achieved the big victory her sprinting efforts this season deserved when making all in the Prix de l’Abbaye.
“It was pretty surreal,” said Harris. “Normally I can’t watch the race because the nerves you go through are that bad.
“I get nervous enough riding in a class six amateur race so god knows what Hollie is feeling riding all these favourites in Group Ones.
“The camera they used wasn’t the best so I couldn’t really make out where she was – thank god she wears a noseband. Once she came across the line it was pure elation – just finally, she’s got one because she deserved it so much.”
Although Harris reports The Platinum Queen to have bounced out of the race, his own exertions celebrating in the aftermath of the five-furlong event clearly left a mark, with the young northerner siding for an early night, rather than basking in glory in the Parisian party districts.
“We had dinner, but then I was that tired from jumping about and making a scene that I just went straight to sleep – I didn’t have the energy for anything else. I slept like a baby,” said Harris.
Oisin Orr rides her at home and a lot of congratulations has to go to him as he does all the hard work at home. I have the easy job of leading her round
A fully tuned-in team member at Musley Bank, he is keen to point out he is just a small part in The Platinum Queen story, and picks out Orr for special praise.
He continued: “There’s a lot of hard work been put in at home and it’s so nice to see it finally pay off. Especially when it’s something not a lot of horses have done what she has done, it’s very rewarding.
“Oisin Orr rides her at home and a lot of congratulations have to go to him as he does all the hard work at home. It must be hard for him because he can’t ride her in races because she’s too low down in the weights. But he’s a team player and he was just as happy as anyone else when she crossed the line in front. I have the easy job of just leading her round.”
On the difference between riding and leading up a winner he added: “Masque Of Anarchy who I’ve won on twice, I get off and it’s job done.
“But at home you are day in day out with these animals and you go through a lot of hard work at home. And then it is down to just one minute at the track which decides the future. So it’s a great feeling whether you are leading one up or riding one.”
With the French capital ticked off, Harris could be getting his passport out for a trip to the United States next, something which will ensure The Platinum Queen remains ahead of diggers in his affections.
He said: “We’ll have to see what the boss says, but fingers crossed we can get a nice trip to Kentucky. That’s what I’m hoping. The Platinum Queen definitely comes first, the bobcats will have to stay second.”
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