Monday 23 April 2018

Heskin gets his new job off to dream start

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor. Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor. Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Thomas Kelly

Adrian Heskin enjoyed a dream start in his new role as stable jockey to trainer Tom George as Kilbree Kid claimed a fourth Perth victory in the Lord Mansfield Memorial Handicap Chase yesterday.

It is six years since Heskin burst onto the scene as a professional, riding his first Cheltenham Festival winner on his first ride at the showpiece meeting aboard A New Story in the 2010 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase.

The following month the Kilworth, Co Cork native landed the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown on Church Island as a 7lb claimer, just days after his 18th birthday, while in 2014 he was signed up as retained rider for leading Dublin-based owner Barry Connell, for whom he enjoyed big-race success aboard the likes of Foxrock and last year's Albert Bartlett hero Martello Tower.

However, the pair parted ways earlier this year and George recently announced Heskin would make the move to England to become his No 1 rider.

The 24-year-old teamed up with the Slad handler for the first time in Scotland, with Kilbree Kid a 5/1 chance to enhance his fine course record. The nine-year-old jumped soundly throughout and knuckled down admirably on the run-in to get the better of favourite Kilronan High by a length and a quarter.

George said: "That's the perfect start and takes a little bit of the pressure off. There was no pressure from our end, but it just takes the steam out of things and hopefully shows we've made the right choice, which we believe we have.

At Goodwood, Godolphin's Sky Hunter earned himself a second crack at the Melbourne Cup with a solid success in the Crimbourne Stud Foundation Stakes.

The six-year-old beat just one finisher home in the Flemington showpiece last year but having been specially prepared with a repeat mission in mind by trainer Saeed bin Suroor, confidence is high he can put in an improved showing on the first Tuesday in November.

After returning from a 10-month hiatus to finish a creditable third in the September Stakes at Kempton less than three weeks ago, Sky Hunter was a 5/2 chance to get back on the winning trail in a race his trainer had won on six previous occasions.

Epsom Icon took the five-strong field along for much of the 10-furlong journey and attempted to kick clear early from the home turn. However, William Buick covered the move aboard and after hitting the front inside the last three furlongs, he galloped clear to score by three and a quarter lengths.

Winning owners Godolphin have confirmed that they have bolstered their juvenile ranks with the purchase of the Roger Charlton-trained Frankel colt, Atty Persse.

The colt was an impressive winner of his maiden at Sandown last week over a mile, and has an entry in the Racing Post Trophy on Oct 22 at the end of the season. He is also entered in next year's Derby.

Irish Independent

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