Tag Archives: Horse Racing

Humans of Kilcock – Tommy Simms Part I

I had just passed the cul de sac back back near Kilcock and rounded the bad bend in the road when the road straightened up in front of me. It was about 400 yards to next bad bend. All of a sudden I could see this black figure coming towards me. At first I didn’t know what it was. I had to rub my eyes.

I’m going back to 1951 here now. I was after been up in Downpatrick to ride a horse. I rode a winner infact, on a horse called Rosall for trainer Ger Flood. The race was on a Saturday and we went up on the Friday.

On friday night we went to the pictures up there. We used to always go to the pictures here in Kilcock also and at that time they played the National Anthem at the end. More often than not we’d scarper before the anthem and nearly to our detremint, we did the same up in Downpatrick.

The film ended and we headed for the door as ‘God Save The Queen’ belted out over the tannoy. Well I’m not messing we were nearly killed that night for disrespecting their anthem. Sure we didn’t do it intentionally. We got out of there fairly quick I tell ya.

Anyway the race came and went the next day and I was delighted to get the victory. By the time we got back home to Clonfert afterwards and I watered, fed, and cleaned down the horse, it was 1am before I got on the bike left Flood’s yard to head for Kilcock.

Now this aul bike I was on was the noisiest, rattliest yolk around. Not a word of a lie, you’d hear it beyond in Dunboyne.

This particular night there was the brightest full moon out, it was almost like day time.

I had just passed the cul de sac back back near Kilcock and rounded the bad bend in the road when the road straightened up in front of me. It was about 400 yards to next bad bend. All of a sudden I could see this black figure coming towards me. At first I didn’t know what it was. I had to rub my eyes.

Stretch of road where Tommy Simms spotted the ghost back in 1951

But it was still there and getting closer. As it got nearer, I noticed that it was the figure of a woman, she was dressed in old Victorian style clothing, a long flowing dress, with a big fancy hat and a kind of a veil covering her face.

The woman wasn’t walking but kind of floating along the bank and we just passed by eachother. She didn’t bother me and I certainly didn’t bother her.

I’m not messing, I got the fright of my life. It was the first time I seen a ghost and by God did I peddle faster than I ever peddled before and that old rattly bike moved quicker than ever.

When I got home me father was still awake, he’d always be awake like that if I was off racing and was late home. He’d be worried something would have happened me in the race.

He looked at me and I must have been as white as that ghost I’d just seen as he said to me “Are you alright son?” Well I leapt into the bed beside him and explained to him what I’d just seen.

Of course he believed me as he had seen ghosts before himself so he wasn’t sceptical or he didn’t think I was mad, but he did have a great laugh at me when as I lay there scared out of my skin!!

I’ve seen manys a ghost since but I’ll never forget that first one that night on the Laragh Road into Kilcock. But I tell ya, it’s the live ones you want to watch!!!

Meath’s Aileen O’Sullivan banks her first victory at Clonmel

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.

https://twitter.com/RacingTV/status/1321913446628089856?s=19

Scottish Double For Downey At Ayr

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.

Downey onboard Contact on the way back to the winners enclosure at Ayr.

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.

Downey Makes Perfect Contact At Ayr

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.

By Robert Cox

Geological may well be the perfect match for Vanessa

Well done to local Jockey Vanessa Maye who partnered ‘Geological’ to victory at Dundalk Stadium tonight for trainer Damian English.

The combination were victorious for the third-successive time and the 800-guineas purchase has now won eleven races for trainer English and around €200,000 in prize-money.

It was Geological’s 102nd career start.

Well done to all involved. Maye is now up to three career wins, remarkably all on Geological. A match made in heaven. 🐎

Maye is a former Scoil Chóca Naofa and Scoil Dara student, who is riding on the crest of a wave 🌊

Some people took to Twitter to show their support after the race; “Geological, 3 in a row. What is going on, Vanessa Maye has unlocked the Frankel within”

“Vanessa Maye’s 10lb claim is golden”

“Vanessa Maye is getting some tune out of Geological lately”

The winning jockey said after the race; I’m so lucky to get to ride this horse and it’s great to get the hat trick on him”

Geological continues to put Maye on the map

Geological recorded his twelfth career success as he kept on best to land the Dundalk Stadium – Light Up Your Night Handicap, giving Kildare jockey Vanessa Maye her second career win in the process.

The Damian English trained seven-year-old also provided the young apprentice Maye with her first career win here a fortnight ago.

The son of Rock Gibraltar raced prominently alongside top-weight Gordon Lord Byron before been pushed along into a narrow lead from early in the straight, going on to maintain that advantage all the way to the line, going on to prevail by three parts of a length.

Veteran Gordon Lord Byron was second under Colin Keane while Urban Beat was a further half a length back in third, with Shane Kelly onboard this one.

Winning trainer English was full of praise for both Geological and Maye after the race; “What a horse.

“When he’s rated below 80 he’s lethal and with Vanessa’s 10lb claim that brought him below 80 again.

“What a servant, that’s his 12th win. What more can I say and he’s going to keep going here all winter.

“Vanessa said he absolutely tanked to the start and in better form than he was the last night.

“We’ve always tried to qualify him for Lingfield but it’s just never happened. Maybe this year we’ll have a go at it again and we’ll see what happens.

“The horse is in great form and we’ll keep tipping away.

“You could see there tonight with Colin (on Gordon Lord Byron) taking him on and Vanessa using her head. She’s a very very good rider and she’s one of the best apprentices I’ve seen.

“She keeps horses balanced, she doesn’t complicate it and she has a good head on her shoulders.”