After more than thirty years as a jockey and trainer, Glen Cortes lost his love for racing.
An exhausted Cortes called time on his racing career at the end of the 2014-15 season.
The relentless nature of racing had worn him down mentally and physically.
Cortes wanted to start a new chapter in his life, one that didn’t include early 3am starts, long travel and the stresses of being a horse trainer.
“I needed to get away from racing and it’s the best thing I could have done,” Cortes said.
“It become all-consuming and got to me a little bit.
“I needed some time away to clear my head.
“It got to a stage where I thought slow horses were going well.
“I got to do some other work and the break was good.”
Cortes might have left racing, but racing never really left him.
A chance meeting at the Geraldton races earlier this year was the spark that ignited his return.
“I happened to be at a Geraldton meeting and had a catch up with owners Karen and Ross Drage,” Cortes said.
“They offered to give me a couple of their horses to train and it took off from there.
“Their support was just the confidence I needed and at the right time.”
One of those horses is Sasse De Blishk, a Blackfriars mare, who came close to giving Cortes a fairy tale return at Carnarvon on June 30.
Sasse De Blishk ran second to former Sydney galloper Woomera, who has taken Carnarvon by storm since joining the Peter Daly stable.
Woomera hasn’t been beaten since coming to Western Australia and caught the eye when he won by a whopping 10 lengths first-up.
But without Woomera in the Ray White Handicap (1400m) at Carnarvon on Friday, Cortes believes he can return to the winner’s list for the first time in five years.
“If you took Woomera out of that previous race Sasse De Blishk would have won,” Cortes said.
“It wasn’t a bad effort to run second to a horse who is no slouch.”
Cortes also says Rossanna in the opening race and Dam Lucky in the final race on the Carnarvon card, are in with winning claims.