Friday 15 December 2017

Connell parts with Heskin after less than two years

Adrian Heskin and Change The Rules in the winner’s enclosure at Fairyhouse yesterday, just hours after it had been confirmed that the rider had parted ways with his retained owner Barry Connell. Photo: Healy Racing.
Adrian Heskin and Change The Rules in the winner’s enclosure at Fairyhouse yesterday, just hours after it had been confirmed that the rider had parted ways with his retained owner Barry Connell. Photo: Healy Racing.
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Owner Barry Connell has dispensed with the services of a second retained rider in less than two years after Adrian Heskin followed in the footsteps of his predecessor Danny Mullins by being relieved of duty.

Mullins was 22 years of age when he was sacked after less than two years in the job. He has since thrived as a freelance, and Heskin - who was the same age at the time of his appointment in October 2014 and was among the winners aboard the Aengus King-trained-and-owned Change The Rules at Fairyhouse yesterday - will now be hoping to do the same.

Connell has placed an increasing number of his expensively acquired string under the care of his private Curragh trainer Alan Fleming. The firm made a flying start to the campaign and Fleming has saddled 25 winners this term. However, things have flattened out a little, with was no joy at Cheltenham or Fairyhouse.

It is two months since Fleming saddled a winner, and now the axe has fallen on Heskin, whose last ride for Connell saw him finish third on Ted Walsh's Foxrock in a Navan Grade Two on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the going at Aintree ahead of the Grand National meeting is good to soft, with good places on the Mildmay track and softer places on the hurdle and National courses.

In tomorrow's Betfred Bowl, Willie Mullins has declared Djakadam and Don Poli to take on Cue Card, while his Champion Hurdle first and third Annie Power and Nichols Canyon will face the runner-up and fourth My Tent Or Yours and The New One in the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle.

Irish Independent Sport Star Awards

Pick our magic sports moment of the year and win a trip for two to London. To view the shortlist and cast your vote click here.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport