CHELTENHAM SUCCESS FOR KILWORTH JOCKEY
Riding at Cheltenham is seen as a major career step for most young jockeys but for one Kilworth rider his first outing at the festival will be remembered by trainers and punters alike, writes Brian Moore.
17 year-old Adrian Heskin from Kilworth upset the odds when he passed the post on the 25/1 A New Story to win the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase on Tuesday. This was Adrian’s first time riding at Cheltenham and the North Cork jockey was delighted with his win and his supporters from Kilworth were on hand at the winners’ enclosure in Cheltenham to congratulate their local hero.
Back in Kilworth the celebrations were getting underway.
“We are all delighted, this is a great achievement for Adrian and fair play to him,” Mick O’Brien of The Village Inn told The Avondhu.
Also watching Adrian on the television at the family home in Kilworth were his parents, Michael and Phil Heskin.
“We were over the moon when we saw Adrian cross the line, we are so proud of him. All the neighbours are here cheering him on. It’s a dream come true for him,” Phil said.
Even as a child of five or six, Adrian was interested in horses and his mother recalled how he used to set up a saddle on a barrel and ‘ride’ with the races on television.
“When a horse would fall, he would throw himself off. Back when he was in national school he wrote in his copy that all he wanted was to ride at Cheltenham. Well, he has achieved that now and we are delighted for him.”
Phil spoke of him as being ‘very disciplined and very focussed’.
This was Adrian’s 12th win as a professional jockey. He had his first winner in Nass at age 16 and recorded a great win at the famous Listowel meeting last September on Michael O’Leary’s ‘Turf War’.
The family this week expressed their thanks to local trainer, Sean O’Brien who allowed Adrian ride out for him during the weekends as a youngster. During his summer holidays, he went to the Michael Hourigan stables in Adare where he had the privilege of riding out on the famous chaser, Beef Or Salmon.
Adrian’s mum said he didn’t have a lot of time to savour his win in Cheltenham as he had to be in a taxi to the airport less than an hour after the race to get back for the Down Royal meeting on Wednesday.
“We don’t know when he will be coming home but when he does arrive, he will be assured of a great welcome.”
Friday 19th March 8:42am