Southern and National champion jockey Jack Kennedy from Dingle made the perfect return to the summer horse and pony racing season with a four-timer on the midlands circuit last Sunday in Loughrea, Co Galway. The mile track is based on the grounds of the Dartfield Horse Museum and Kennedy was in sparkling form on his four winners, three of which were supplied by the Three Counties Syndicate.
The talented Dingle pilot - fresh from a Ballyheigue brace at Christmas - kicked off with an impressive win in division two of the mile on Euro King. Trained in Newmarket, northCork by Jerry and Aileen Daly the winner quickened well up the straight to record a third course victory.
The Daly Kennedy team struck again in the 12 furlong contest when Good Times Ahead, who travelled well throughout, found plenty to see off Where's Johnny by a length at the line.
For good measure the Daly-Kennedy combination made it three wins when the big grey Darby's Garden hosed up in the 1m 6f contest to win with any amount in hand. The treble was a welcome tonic for Jerry Daly, whose mother Margaret had died seven days previously.
The Kennedy four timer was completed in the 2-mile horse race when Thanks Ma owned by his neighbour Garry Boyle stormed clear up the straight to beat another Kerry contender Swagger Jagger and Keith Moriarty. Thanks Ma will now be aimed at the Dawn Milk Dingle Derby and should enjoy a prolific campaign on the sand as well.
Cork jockey Denis Linehan, who also had a Ballyheigue double at Christmas, enjoyed two winners last Sunday. Remember David looked a smart recruit when taking the second split of the ten furlong contest from Rock Hopper while Treasure Beach foiled a Jack Kennedy five-timer in the 15 hands proving too strong for English Bill.
Kilkenny jockey Danny Sheehy is another rising star of the game and he was seen to good effect when scoring an impressive double on Thanks Grandad for Galway trainer Tony Beegan and doubling up on Black Wolf for his long standing supporter Pat Collins from Limerick.
Racing continues this Sunday in Whitegate, county Clare at 1pm.