Monday 20 November 2017

Former Taoiseach's son pays tribute to his dad after first winner

Jane O'Faherty

The son of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds has paid tribute to his late father following his first ever win at Cheltenham.

Philip Reynolds owns champion Mall Dini, and said his father was a "mad racing man" who inspired his love of the sport.

"He got me into racing at a very young age," he said.

"He used to bring us to Galway when it was a three-day meeting and that was our summer holidays so that was where it started."

"I've always loved horses and show-jumped horses, hunted horses, kept horses, bred horses," he added.

Albert Reynolds had an enduring love of horses and made annual trips to the Galway Races and Cheltenham throughout his life. He died in 2014, aged 81.

Cork jockey Davy Russell rode Mall Dini to victory in the second race yesterday, the Pertemps Network Final.

Speaking just after the win, Mr Reynolds said: "I can't believe it. I know that everybody says that but I've been a long time trying to get a runner in Cheltenham, and to have a winner is unbelievable."

"I've only ever had two other horses lined up in Cheltenham," he added. "That's how hard it is to get a horse here."

Mr Reynolds also congratulated his trainer Patrick Kelly, saying that they went "a long way back".

"One of the first horses I ever had, Pat trained for me," he said. "We very nearly won in Galway during the festival, and I thought: 'Maybe our luck has gone now, Pat'."

"But I bought this horse off Tom Costello with Pat, and I said: 'Pat, we're going to have another go'."

Mr Reynolds was looking forward to a "great night".

Irish Independent

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