A TALENTED Kerry jockey, who triumphed on track just last week, has opted to leave Ireland and instead pursue his chosen career in Australian citing the economy as a major factor.
Niki O'Shea, from Derrymore West in Tralee, who was a hugely impressive winner at the Ballinrobe races on board 10/1 chance Hansupfordetroite, was due to travel down under today [Wednesday] to assume a role with Tony McEvoy's Adelaide stables.
"The Australian racing club have sponsored myself and Midleton jockey Donal McCauley, and have sorted out our visas etc," he told The Kerryman.
"It will run to the end of their season. At the end of September I will make a final decision then on what I will do there. I had been there before, representing Ireland in the international jockeys challenge, and I loved it there in 2006. Basically the real reason I am going is because of the economic climate here. Things on the racing front have gone very quiet, with very limited opportunities and I have to make a living."
O'Shea showed real class on board Hansupfordetroite in the two mile six furlong opportunity handicap chase in what could well be his last win on Irish soil in the forseeable future. Clear at halfway he extended his advantage four out. In complete command three out, he jumped the last in splendid isolation and was eased completely on the run in to win unchallenged from Twin Plan.
Meanwhile, Newcastlewest champion conditional rider Mark Enright was on the mark at Kilbeggan races on Sunday on 9/2 chance Captain Lob trained by Dessie Hughes. In a tremendous duel with Paul Townend over the final two flights he prevailed by one and-a-half lengths from Great Jones.