TOP horse trainer Sam Thomas has opened up on his horrific helicopter crash and miracle escape.
Thomas and multi-millionaire horse owner Dai Walters, believed to be 76, were among five onboard the chopper when it came down in dense woodland last November.
Thomas said the horrific helicopter crash really shook him up
Multi-millionaire plant hire tycoon Walters was seriously injured in the terrifying ordeal
Thomas said Walters, who is said to be worth around £264million, is recovering after being transported to Glan Clwyd hospital in Rhyl, north Wales.
Miraculously, Thomas, thought to be 38, escaped with minor injuries and was back winning races just three days later.
Thomas, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup as a jockey, broke his silence on the terrifying ordeal – which was likened to a scene out of a disaster movie by one witness – when speaking to Nick Luck.
Asked how he was doing in the months since, Thomas said: “Much better. Mentally, for me, was the biggest thing to overcome.
“It really did shake me up.
“Being busy and out in the yard every day and having things to deal with has really helped to keep my mind on the right path.
“It could have been a hell of a lot worse. I’m just very fortunate to be in the position I am.”
And now it turns out Thomas is plotting the ultimate redemption story with a horse that has not run in more than three years.
Thomas has entered Angels Breath – who was last seen on a racecourse winning a Grade 2 by 23 lengths in December 2019 – in the Ryanair and Gold Cup.
He reckons the former Nicky Henderson runner could still sparkle at Cheltenham Festival despite the massive absence.
And he said Walters and fellow owner Ronnie Bartlett were keen to get the horse back on track.
Thomas said: “I have a close association with Mr Walters and that’s how my association with the horse came about.
“Nicky won some high profile races with him.
“It’s been a long road from the last one to now but I’m extremely lucky to be in a position to train for Mr Walters and that’s how I ended up with him.
“The horse is a proven very good horse, but whether he retains that ability is still to be seen.
“The plan is to run him on January 14 in the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton.
“If he went onto win we would be scratching our heads about where to go next.
“We thought it was the logical thing to do and both owners were keen to have an entry (in the Ryanair and Gold Cup).
“If we did win in a couple weeks time we would look a bit silly (if we hadn’t entered him).”