An inspiring tale of dogged determination and a passion for horses hit the press this week, as the tale of Dublin-based solicitor Grainne Loughnane (27) emerged. The amateur jockey has been invited to partake in the auspicious St. Patrick’s Day Derby at the Cheltenham Festival – the UK’s premier annual racing event.
Working full-time in a solicitor’s office during the week and finding the time to make the grade as a potential champion jockey is no mean feat, but her hard work and dedication the sport she so clearly loves has certainly paid off. Grainne told Irish newspaper the Herald: “It will be competitive, because everybody dreams of having the winner at Cheltenham.”
She’ll be one of four Irish riders in the famous 1.5 mile race, but notably, the only amateur, and the only full-time legal practitioner!
Continue reading From Bench to Track – Irish Solicitor to Take On the UK’s Largest Racing Festival
Mild sunny weather welcomed the return of enthusiastic crowds to Prestbury Park with the promise of 4 days of top quality National Hunt racing and the pinnacle of the racing year – the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday.
The first day of the Cheltenham festival hit punters pockets hard with surprise results when 5 favourites failed to win. Champion jockey Tony McCoy’s joy was evident when winning the feature race, the Champion Hurdle, on Binocular. Up until last week it was unclear if the Nicky Henderson trained gelding would run because of recent injury. This French bred six year old, who finished 3rd in 2009, was always travelling sweetly and took command between the last two hurdles to win comfortably giving his popular Irish owner, J. P. McManus, his 22nd festival success.
But much of the festival focus remains on Friday’s eagerly anticipated Gold Cup which will see a clash for the 3rd time of super equine heroes, Kauto Star and Denman. The Paul Nicholls trained duo have captured the hearts of the nation and Kauto Star’s bid to win this three and a quarter mile chase would secure a place in the history books with former champions Arkle, Best Mate, Golden Miller and Cottage Rake.
By LYNN LAWSON 16th March ‘10