Going flat out for glory in the saddle
Sean Davis is a jockey with a bright future under the guidance of emerging trainer Michael O'Callaghan
It's just after 7am and Sean Davis is all geared up for another busy day at Crotanstown House on the Curragh. It's buzzing at Michael O'Callaghan's yard - home to some 50 horses being prepared for the upcoming flat season - and this talented young man is right in the thick of this fledgling enterprise which saddled some 15 winners in 2015.
A graduate of the Racing Academy (RACE) last summer, it appears that the 17-year-old has, quite clearly, landed on his feet as an apprentice jockey to one of the most talked-about young trainers of the racing world.
At just 27, and in only his second full season as a licensed trainer, Kerry-born Michael O'Callaghan (pictured right) sent out his first Group winner, Blue De Vega, last October.
"I was very fortunate when Michael agreed to keep me on after my work placement last year. It is great that he is now giving me a chance to prove myself," Maynooth-born Sean said as he went about his early morning duties.
As a rookie in a fast- growing yard, there's little time for idle chat and he is quickly legged up for the first lot of the day.
It's a two-year-old colt by Kodiac, one of several as yet unnamed youngsters being primed for the 2016 Irish flat season which kicks off with the Lincolnshire meeting at the Curragh on March 20.
It is not surprising that Sean remembers with fondness his first ride up the very same track last October. "It was on a filly called Maknificent," he recalls. "She was actually 4/1 favourite and although she finished third, ran well. I was delighted and my parents Paul and Liz were there too to see it.
"I'd only ridden in my first ever race on the track the day before in Limerick and was down the field on a horse called Bob's The Business."