They have been coming down for a couple of years now to plunder our spoils but everyone seems to like the Irish jocks when they get here.
Robbie Dolan, Tom Sherry have waved their flag here in recent months and now Ellen Hennessy!
The girl who grew up on the backs of ponies at pony club in Ireland has been riding winners left, right and centre in the NSW bush for a few months now. One in particular called PECUNIARY INTEREST (Exceleration-Tubawi).
He also makes his city debut at Warwick Farm this afternoon as the topweight in race 2.
And he goes well. “He sneaks up on you,” said his trainer Nick Olive. “He doesn’t work like a star but he just keeps winning races and all of sudden you have to say to yourself, I’ve got a good one here.”
From only 10 starts to date, he’s won five of them including the Bathurst Cup last start, and young Ellen has been on board for his last three wins.
“He just runs for her. She’s tough and she deserves her crack in the city with him.”
As for Ellen herself, she came to Australia last year in search of fame and fortune.
“Yep, true and this is my first ride in town, so I’m super excited,” she said of her Aussie progression..
“I started back riding about this time last year, its gone by so quick, its been a whirlwind.
“I have been pretty much riding ponies and doing pony club all my life and knew at that age that I wanted to be a jockey.
“Then, when I was 15, I went to the apprentice school in Ireland and from there I was an apprentice in Ireland to Kevin Prendergast, which was great, but I just wasn’t getting very many rides in races.
“Which made me think of Australia. So, I decided to come over here and give it a go.”
Currently she claims 2kg in the bush, and 3kg in town and at the provincials. The $40,000 Bathurst Cup over 1800m where she brought Pecuniary Interest down the centre of the track to win handsomely, has been her biggest win to date.
“I’m currently on loan to Joe Cleary, I only moved over to him at the start of this month.”
A win here and she may well, like her British counterparts Rachel King and Louise Day, get a few more rides in the city.
We wish her well.