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.