Jack Kennedy, a three times champion pony racing rider who has ridden in excess of 220 winners on the pony circuit, opened his account over jumps in some fashion with a double at Down Royal last weekend.
The 17 year old secured his first winner of hurdles and the second of his career when easily claiming the handicap hurdle on the Gordon Elliott trained, Eshtiaal.
The teenager originally from Dingle came to the course proper with a big reputation and had opened his account only last week at Cork. Kennedy was content to sit behind the leaders but lead prior to the penultimate flight and won going away after the last flight.
Gordon Elliott said: “I’m delighted for Jack - the winner is engaged again over the weekend - I’ll see how he is and he could run again.”
He did run and duly won at Tramore on Saturday.
Jack Kennedy definitely started his career over jumps in style when doubling up on the night at the local track aboard Mustadrik.
The winner is again trained by Elliott with the young rising star based with the County Meath trainer.
Kennedy said: “I want to thank Mr Elliott for the rides and his support. Everyone in the stable has been keen to help me - I am really loving it!” Kennedy went on to win again on Sunday at Kilbeggan.
Top jockey Robbie Power opened the scoring at Down Royal on Friday evening when making all the running on the Keith Clarke trained, New World to easily land the opener.
The rest of the field allowed the winner free rein and only on the downhill run did the pack make efforts to close however New World still had plenty in the tank while well supposed favourite, Bay Of Freedom kept on to fill third.
The winning trainer said: “I owe a lot of thanks to farrier - Antony Lynch for getting him right after he got a corner crack at Thurles and could have been out for a longer time. He’s a proper horse and will make a nice chaser. He’ll improve again.”
Power was another jockey to record a double at the Maze when cruising into the lead before two from home on the Peter Fahy trained, Medinah Gold although the runner-up was closing the gap close to the line.
Fahy said: “He’s been busy and been to Cheltenham and Punchestown. His jumping wasn’t great last season so I sent him to Robbie [Power] for a few weeks to school. He gave him a great ride. I’ll look for a handicap next time.”
Robbie Power however post-race got a three day ban for careless riding between the third and second last flights.
The Mags Mullins trained Ballychorus, with the trainer’s son Danny aboard, turned the Mare’s Beginners Chase into a procession with a front running display of jumping and was never in danger of defeat.
Five O’Clock looked the likely winner when smoothly travelling through to challenge two from home however had to settle for second behind the Gavin Cromwell trained As De Pique which had always been in the front rank in the handicap chase.
Irish Champion trainer Aidan O’Brien made a very rare trip to the Ulster course to supervise his daughter, Sarah, riding Kalopsia which despite making all the running was denied in a photo finish to the finale by the Tom Taaffe trained, Glacial Drift.