Friday 23 March 2018

O'Shea's dream weekend hits hurdle

Brian McDonald

IT was almost the perfect weekend for Irish soccer star John O'Shea.

Another assured performance from the Manchester United defender as his side brushed West Ham aside in their Premier League clash on Saturday was expected to be followed by further success on the racetrack in Galway yesterday.

The Waterford man is chief organiser of the 'Dubs v Culchies' syndicate, which ran the five-year-old hurdler St Devote in the Galway City Publicans Handicap Hurdle.

Along with O'Shea, the syndicate comprises fellow Irish international soccer players Stephen Hunt, Kevin Doyle, Kevin Kilbane, Shay Given, Robbie Keane, Damien Duff and Daryl Murphy.

The punters took notice of the fact that O'Shea and Hunt had travelled specially from Britain for the race, and backed St Devote in to 3/1 favourite.

However, the punters' favourite was led from flagfall by Gudnis Gracious Me. A slight mistake at the third last flight did St Devote no favours and hard as jockey Davy Russell tried, he just failed to catch the long-time leader.

"He ran well, but it was a very good ride from the winning jockey," O'Shea said.

As regards the name of the syndicate? "Let's just say Stephen and I are the culchies," O'Shea laughed.

Meanwhile, there was an emotional end to Saturday's opening session of the three-day mini-festival. The Jamie Kyne Memorial Flat Race was run in memory of the 18-year-old apprentice jockey from Kiltrogue, Co Galway, who lost his life in a fire at a Yorkshire apartment building last September.

Scottish apprentice rider Jan Wilson (19) also died.

Jamie's parents, Gerry and Madeleine, his brothers and sister were all present. Madeleine presented the trophy to the winning connections of According to Jodie.

Irish Independent

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