There were tears of joy at Clonmel Racecourse on Thursday afternoon as Meath Jockey Aileen O’Sullivan rode her first-ever winner in the Clonmel Handicap Chase on board American Image.
The amateur jockey and AIB bank worker from Walterstown, couldn’t contain her excitement after winning the last race of the day for trainer Steven Millar.
Speaking to Kevin O’Ryan on Racing TV, an emotional O’Sullivan said: “I cannot describe it. It’s a dream come true. I couldn’t believe it. It means the world.
“This is why you get up in the morning. This is why we do it. I am so chuffed”
“I can’t believe it. The horse was as good as gold. I even thought we had another lap to go.
“He just jumped from fence to fence and the more I swung out of him, the more he wanted to go and fight me. He just never gave in. He was brilliant.”
When asked about Jack Kennedy looming up on her outside as they approached the last two fences, O’Sullivan laughed; “Looming!! I was terrified. I was like Jesus I better get rolling and he (American Image) just rallied up that hill. My God, when I needed him he just stuck his head down and wung them last two fences. I didn’t even have a chance to breathe between them, he was just lightening quick over them. His jumping saved the day, again, he was brilliant “
O’Sullivan is a former Meath LGFA and Walterstown player.
Kildare Jockey Robbie Downey enjoyed a double at Ayr Racecourse yesterday as he partnered ‘Contact’ and ‘Baryshnikov’ to victory for trainer David Barron at the Scottish track.
Downey got the first of his double home in front after timing his run to perfection to get favourite ‘Contact’ up to pip ‘Headingley’ by a head in ‘The Gribbens Taxis Median Auction Maiden Stakes’.
The Kilcock native settled the 2 year old early in the race, making headway to chase the leaders from the two furlong marker, keeping on well inside the final furlong, before pipping ‘Headingley’ and Jason Hart on the line to take the win by a head, with ‘Berry Edge’ back in third.
Two hours later, Downey and Barron were back in the winners enclosure with the ‘Baryshnikov’. Downey had the 4-year-old was towards the rear early on but like when onboard ‘Contact’, he slowly made headway, though on this occasion the pair got to the front to lead narrowly at the 1f pole and despite edging left on the run in, they kept on to win by 3/4 of a length.
It was the second time in the space of three weeks that Downey had got ‘Baryshnikov’ home in front, after their victory at Chester on September 11th.
Kilcock Jockey Robbie Downey timed his run to perfection as he got the favourite ‘Contact’ up to pip ‘Headingley’ by a head in ‘The Gribbens Taxis Median Auction Maiden Stakes’ at Ayr today.
Downey, who was riding for trainer David Barron, settled the 2 year old early in the race, making headway to chase the leaders from the two furlong marker, keeping on well inside the final furlong, before pipping ‘Headingley’ and Jason Hart on the line to take the win by a head, with ‘Berry Edge’ back in third.
Having recently enjoyed three successes on the bounce with Geological, Maynooth Jockey Vanessa Maye once again teamed up with trainer Damian English to win with another of Dundalk Races favourite sons, Tribal Path, in the Crown Plaza Dundalk Race and Stay Handicap Division II, at the County Louth track this evening.
Maye, now claiming 7lb, partnered the nine year old to his eighth career victory on his 79th start, picking up her fourth career win as a jockey in the process.
Along with picking up the win, Maye would have been equally excited by the fact that her older sister Jessica rode in her first race under rules, when she partnered up with the John Geoghegan trained ‘Lady Boomerang’