Cheltenham Festival trainer Jessica Harrington reveals devastating breast cancer diagnosis

CHELTENHAM Festival horse trainer Jessica Harrington has opened up on her devastating breast cancer diagnosis.

The former Gold Cup-winning trainer – whose husband Johnny died from cancer eight years before her awful news – is undergoing chemotherapy.

Harrington said she can see ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ after being diagnosed with cancerSportsfile – Subscription

She won’t attend next week’s Festival but said ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel’ regarding her treatment.

Harrington, who is famed for winning the Gold Cup with Sizing John and the Champion Chase twice with Moscow Flyer, said she ‘definitely did a bit of crying’ after docs informed her of her illness last October.

She told Katie Hannon on RTE’s Up Front podcast: “I’m going through cancer treatment at the moment.

“I definitely did a bit of crying when I got the diagnosis and then what I had to go through.

“I definitely did a bit of crying over it.

“I did 12 weeks (of treatment), I’ve only got two more to go.

“I see light at the end of the tunnel and it’s absolutely fantastic.”

Harrington, 76, still goes to her yard in Ireland most days but cannot attend the races for fear of infection.

She’ll cheer on Ashdale Bob in the Stayers’ Hurdle – the only one of the four championship races she hasn’t won – from home.

Explaining how her life has changed with cancer, Harrington said: “Your eyebrows go, your eyelashes go. It’s lovely, no hair on your body, brilliant.

“There’s one very nasty thing about not having any hair, you lose the hair in your nose so your nose drips, which is not very pleasant, but you have to laugh about it.

“When my hair started falling out, I said I can’t bear this and I just went off and got my head shaved.

“I’m wearing a wig today. Sometimes I wear a wig, otherwise I just wear a hat and a sort of turban thing. It is what it is. I can’t change it.

“Having dark days with cancer, cancer might feed on that.

“That’s my attitude so therefore we can’t have dark days but if you do have a bit of a blip, you pull yourself up and carry on because there’s an awful lot of other people worse than you are.”

And speaking maybe ticking off the Stayers’ with her 16-1 shot, she added: “I would love to get it.

“I’m not certain he’ll win, but he could be placed. If everything went right, he has the ability to win that race, but we just need to wait and see.”