RACEHORSE trainer Aytach 'Jeff' Sadik had more reason than most to celebrate a winner on Saturday.
That's because Kempton hero Bawaader ended his EIGHT-YEAR drought without a victory.
Worcestershire-based Sadik, 75, who spent most of his career working as an NHS nurse before turning his hand to training, last saddled a winner in July 2014 when Apache Dawn won over jumps at Bangor.
And his last winner on the Flat was even further back on January 21 2010 – some 4,735 days ago.
He started out training as a hobby in the late 1990's, buying horses to run in his green and yellow silks and training them himself.
He trained the infamous jumps horse Sussex Road, who retired last year as a 70-race maiden but who gained a cult following among racing fans.
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But the Sadik family has been struck by tragedy over the years, and he has been determined to get back in the winners' enclosure.
In 2006, he son Cengiz, who was known by his friends as Gus, was found dead having hung himself at the family stables in Wolverley.
And three years ago, Sadik was diagnosed with bladder cancer.
He was also hospitalised by a serious bout of Covid-19, which caused severe damage to his lungs.
Many have questioned over the years why he has continued to train through such lean times.
But he revealed that working with horses acts as therapy for him – and he was understandably emotional after Josephine Gordon steered Bawaader home in front.
Sadik said: "I am over the moon. Things haven't gone well for me over the past few years.
"I lost a son and I have had a long illness and I am just coming through it now, so this is a real shot in the arm.
"I've trained around 50 winners but this is definitely the most emotional one because me and my family have gone through some rough times."
Racing fans were quick to congratulate Sadik on social media.
One said: "Made up for him. I would send him a horse if I had finances. Must be soul destroying having a horse with no chance every time it runs, great he had a winner."
Another posted: "Great to see – keep going sir."
While another said: "A proper never give up story – he's nearly had as many losers as I have!"
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