Abbeyfeale jockey Paddy storms to first ever victory

Fergus Dennehy

An Abbeyfeale teenage jockey found the perfect antidote to the back to school blues last week as he claimed his first ever career victory.

Paddy Hartnett, a fifth year student at Coláistte Íde agus Iosef in Abbeyfeale - whose victory co-incided with the same day that he returned to school - couldn't quite believe it last week when he was the first past the post in Tipperary.

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"It's unbelievable. I can't believe it now to be honest. I got a great ride and I'm delighted.  When I got to the furlong pole. I thought, 'jeez I can hear nothing behind me.' I just gave a look back and the other lads were about two lengths off me and I just put my stick stick and hands and heels to the finish and I hung on anyway," said the young jockey.

"I did pony racing for about two years. I learnt to ride down in Tom Cooper's and he taught me a lot," he said. Paddy's maiden career victory was witnessed by his proud father and two brothers and the overjoyed teenager, who could not fail to contain his smile throughout his post race interview, said that he was sure that his equally proud mother and sister were watching at home.

Kerryman

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