'It is not time to start celebrate yet'

'It is not time to start celebrate yet'

Refocused Prince 'Daggerman' Holder promises more winners

Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

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Prince “Daggerman” Holder, who once warmed the hearts of many racing fans with his strong riding style and his never-say-die attitude, says he is focused now more than ever.

This surge of confidence came immediately after Holder steered the Michael Marlowe-conditioned four-year-old bay gelding Nala's Bushman to a three-length win in a Restricted Allowance event over nine furlongs and 25 yards (1,820m) on Saturday. It was Holder's first win for the season and the first in many moons for the 28-year-old.

Holder, from the batch of apprentice riders who graduated in September of 2012, did well as he churned out the winners and capped a super 2013 when he was voted as the most improved rider for the season with 34 winners.

Then came 2014 and a dramatic drop in form, which left racegoers wondering what went wrong for Daggerman, who managed just two winners from well over 100 mounts.

It went from bad to worse as the diminutive rider and crowd favourite went missing from the racetrack and exercise track.

Last May, Holder was slapped with a 25-race day ban which derailed his career even more, but he now claims the past is behind him and he is ready to roll again.

“The feeling right now is really good. It is really good to know that I came back into the racing industry and was able to win a race. I mean, I am coming for a sick leave and so I have to thank the Father, as He gave me the strength and knowledge to carry on each and every day.

“I have to thank my fans; I am here and so thanks for the support. And the trainer Michael Marlowe, who has been behind me 100 per cent, pushing me every step of the way — and I am much grateful for the ride. To the groom and other connections, I give thanks,” Holder told The Supreme Racing Guide.

“Three furlongs out, I knew that I had the race won, as I was easy on him because I was too close to the leaders at that point. Normally he would be further behind at that point but today I was a lot closer, and I knew from that point when he began to kick he would get up in time for the win.

“It is not time to start celebrate yet, as the work has just started. You can expect greatness from me later on in the year and hopefully I can ride more winners, as I will continue the hard work. Nothing beats hard work and dedication, and I am going to do my best and put my foot forward once again,” he continued.

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