Robbie Downey: From Kilcock to Kolkata

It’s January 22nd 2019 and County Kildare man Robbie Downey is sitting alongside fellow Jockey and friend Leigh Roche in the departure lounge of Mumbai Airport. The pair are waiting to board a flight to Kolkata and as they do so Robbie thankfully takes the time out to return a WhatsApp call I made earlier in the day.

Downey arrived in India two months previously in November for their winter season, not knowing what to expect and leaving the safety net of his family and friends many thousands of miles behind him. And though there was always going to be a certain amount of fear and trepidation, he took the jump, feeling he had nothing to lose; “Ahh yeah to be honest I felt the timing was right. Things had gone a bit stale at home and I had moved to England for a short period but this was something that I always felt I wanted to do so when the opportunity arose I grabbed it with both hands. I am grateful Leigh is over here as well as it could be a lonely place without a familiar face. ”


“I came here in November for their Winter Season. Coming over was a bit of a shock, one of my first thoughts were oh no what am I letting myself in for, this reaction hit as the plane began to descend into Mumbai. I could start to smell the river as it flows out to sea and the unbearable stench of the sewage coming from it. When we hit the city of Mumbai itself for the first time the first things I noticed were the people everywhere, the constant noise and the heat that just hit us when we got out of our taxi. Walking through the city I found there is so much pollution, mainly from the fumes of the exhausts and to be honest I found it hard to breathe at times. In fairness though we found out pretty quickly that the lifestyle is okay for jockeys over here. I found that the natives around Mumbai are either really rich or really really poor. It was a wake up call to see people starving to death on the side of the road. It woke me up and made me realise how lucky I actually am.

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Double Delight for Downey

Kilcock Jockey Robbie Downey rode a double for Thirsk trainer David Barron at Redcar Racecourse last Monday evening.

‘Venturous’ (9/1) struck late to win the Watch Racing TV In Stunning HD Handicap Stakes to complete the double while earlier in the day Downey stayed cool to win the Join Racing TV Now Handicap Stakes aboard Frosted Lass (9/2), outstaying favourite Tomahawk Ridge.

Downey spoke after completing his double about his hopes to raise his profile as a freelance jockey after coming over from Ireland; “I tested the water towards the end of last season for a few weeks, then rode in India during the winter. It’s going well but I’m just trying to pick up more rides.”

Photos from Redcar Racecourse twitter.

Gabrial is the one for Davis

Maynooth Jockey Sean Davis partnered ‘Gabrial The One’ to victory in the ‘Thyme People Handicap Stakes’ at Chester Races on Saturday afternoon.

The Richard Fahey trained horse, who was 4/1, came home 3/4 of a length in front of ‘Never Do Nothing’ back in second place, mounting his challenge just outside the furlong mark before taking the lead inside the final furlong, to run on rather cosily in the end.

For five pound claiming apprentice Davis, who is one of the leading candidates to capture the British Apprentice Championship this season, it was a first win at Chester, as he continues to make a name for himself across the water. Davis currently sits at the top of that said championship.

Richard Fahey had his say on his official Twitter page following the win; “Winner number four is Gabrial The One and a winner at Chester for Dr Marwan Koukash. He did it really nicely under apprentice Sean Davis.”

Davis partners Furzig to victory at Thirsk

It’s another win for our local jockey Sean Davis, who partnered Furzig to victory at Thirsk Racecourse Ltd (Official) last night for trainer Richard Fahey Racing.

He also had a winner at Hamilton Park Racecourse on Friday night as he got favourite Glasvegas up to win.

Davis is one of the leading contenders to take the British Apprentice Championship, even at such an early stage in the season. And you can follow all of his fortunes here at Robert Cox Sport, your number one for local sport đź‘Ť

Kilcock Canoe Polo Club on the double at national awards night

Kilcock Canoe Polo Club last night picked up two awards at the Canoe Ireland 2018 awards, a first ever awards night for the association according to their Facebook page.

The successful Division One team from Kilcock, Kilcock Demons was awarded Canoe Polo Team of the year 2018, while the club’s long serving player and currentDemon team member Mark McCormack was awarded Canoe Polo player of the year 2018.

The Demons won the Irish Open hosted by Kilcock Canoe Polo Club in September of last year, with McCormack a pivotal part of the team.

The club continue to go from strength, with a large number of youngsters joining up. They were represented with enthusiasm and pride on their home patch during the Irish Open, where they had seven teams participating. To show the strength of underage players coming through, the club’s very young u14 team (with players as young as nine) were narrowly beaten in the final.

The Demons were sponsored by Kilcloon Credit Union for the season.

Kilcock Woman Best in Britain

Jackie O’Rourke, originally from Kilcock and currently living in England, tonight collected her ‘2018 Camogie Association Volunteer of the Year Award for Britain’ at a function in Croke Park.

The Camogie Association presented the award to one winner from every county, with Jackie claiming her prize for the whole of Britain in respect of the trojan amount of work she gets through on and more importantly off the field for her club Fullen Gaels.

According to her club’s Facebook page Jackie has played Camogie with Fullen Gaels for five seasons now and a spokesperson said; “She is an influencial and hard working player both on and off the pitch, and a worthy winner. Well done Jackie, enjoy the celebrations”

Jackie, who played underage and adult Camogie for Cappagh Gaa as well as enjoying a short stint on the football field with Kilcock, moved to Manchester in 2010 to attend college, where she studied Sports Rehabilitation. Away from the stress of college life it didn’t take her long to find her first love. Camogie, when she joined the local side Fullen Gaels.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Jackie is currently back in college again, where she is in 2nd year studying Occupational Therapy and has recently just moved to Liverpool after eight years living in Manchester. Jackie doesn’t intend on letting her team mates and club down though, as she plans to travel along with a friend to Manchester to turn out for Fullen Gaels. After all that’s what true volunteers do. No surprise so that the former Courtown Road resident was up in HQ tonight collecting a very prestigous award on behalf of the whole of Britain.

*Jackie comes from a Gaa mad family that goes back a long way in Kilcock Gaa and her brother Shane is a current top forward with the mens Intermediate team. She is the daughter of Annette and Liam O’Rourke some might best remember her for her days working in the Black Forest Cafe, where her infectious smile lit up the customer’s day!

**I myself trained Jackie during that aforementioned stint on the football field and a nicer girl you would have had to go a long way to meet. Congratulations Jackie.

Kilcock Ladies end their hunt for new manager with appointment of Carlow native.

Kilcock Ladies have appointed Carlow man Stephen Hunter as their new senior football manager for the 2019 season.

Hunter collects a Senior league cup on behalf of his Kilcock team mates.

Hunter, who was a member of the men’s senior football panel in the club from the start of the century until a couple of years ago, takes over from the outgoing Shane Smullen and will be joined on the sideline by Val herbert, Pat O’Connor and Louise Keane.

The former Carlow panelist, also spent a number of the last few years training an underage team in Kilcock, one that his son was and continues to be a prominent part of. In addition to that Hunter has previous coaching experience in the LGFA from his time involved with Leixlip. Kilcock LGFA are thought to be delighted to get their man but are also sad that Shane Smullen had to step down due to work committments. A spokesperson for the club thanked Shane for his time, effort and dedication during his year in charge.

Hunter, 4th from the right, in Croke Park last February as Kilcock LGFA’s Sheena Byrne collected her Overall volunteer of the year award.

According to sources, Hunter has already met with the players along with his management team and plans are afoot to tackle the 2019 season head on. One thing is for sure if he puts half as much effort into his managerial career as he did on the pitch, then Kilcock LGFA will have no room for excuses come the years end.