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So sweet when I was 16 but no such luck since.

Byline: JACK KENNEDY The inside track from Gold Cup winning jockey

THE Galway Races provided me with one of my first big winners - but that remains my only victory at the famous meeting.

When I was 16 years old in 2015 I got the chance to ride Clondaw Warrior for Willie Mullins in the Guinness Handicap.

At that stage I was an apprentice riding on the flat so to get the call to ride in a big handicap like that was very exciting.

The horse's owners actually included Ruby Walsh's and David Casey's wives, so I wasn't short on getting advice before the off.

To end up winning the race was a massive moment in my career and opened up many doors for me.

But you can take nothing for granted in racing and I've drawn a blank at the festival ever since.

That said, I've missed the meeting a few times through injury and only ridden at it on a few occasions.

One of my best memories of the meeting was actually when I was sidelined with a broken collarbone and I ended up going along with my Dad and some friends of his from home.

They owned a horse called Touch Of Gold who was running at the meeting and my brother Michael trained it.

We had great craic, and I suppose the thing about Galway is that win, lose or draw, it's always a great day out for anyone who has a runner at the meeting.

This year I am fit and ready to go though, and I would love to enjoy a little more success around there.

If that does happen I hope it is in one of the big ones. The Galway Plate and the Galway Hurdle are two of the biggest races in the jump racing calendar and they would be well up there on my bucket list.

I will go into more detail later in the week in this column, but I think I have good chances on Battleoverdoyen in the Plate and Call Me Lyreen in the Hurdle.

For both races you need a classy sort that likes a bit of nice ground. In that sense you don't need a typical winter horse.

They are always very competitive races, but Battleoverdoyen is a classy horse who could be capable of shouldering a lot of weight and getting involved in the finish.

I am also looking forward to riding Call Me Lyreen in the Hurdle. He is probably a bit inexperienced but I think he could be in with a real chance.

Galway is one of the festivals that you grow up watching when you are young. It is probably the biggest festival during the summer as far as jumping goes.

So I'm hoping that this week I could see my luck turn around a bit at Ballybrit.

CAPTION(S):

ULTIMATE WARRIOR Riding Clondaw Warrior to victory at the Galway Festival back in 2015

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:JACK KENNEDY The inside track from Gold Cup winning jockey
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Jul 27, 2021
Words:490
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