One To Watch- Jack Kennedy
Every year we see talented young jockeys come through the ranks and make a name for themselves as top National Hunt jockeys. In the last few years we’ve seen talent such as Bryan Cooper, Sean Bowen and the Twiston-Davies brothers to name a few. The latest name to add to this list is young Irish jockey Jack Kennedy!
Jack Kennedy has been riding winners since summer 2015, however a number of excellent rides this season has sprung him into the spotlight as one of National Hunt’s leading young talents.
Coming from Dingle, the home of pony racing’s greatest festival the Dingle Derby, Kennedy followed his brothers Mikey and Patrick into the sport at a young age. His talent was clear straight away, winning the Dingle Derby and being crowned Champion Jockey 3 times. This naturally lead to him starting working and riding for Gold Cup winning trainer Gordon Elliott.
Working for Gordon Elliot he is getting some excellent rides and is not letting the opportunity pass. Over the Christmas period he won the prestigious Lexus Chase aboard 8-1 shot Outlander. This Grade One gave Kennedy his 100th career winner.
More recently he has grabbed the headlines for somehow staying on his horse Bilko during a race at Thurles last week. Kennedy was nearly thrown off after Bilko nearly came down at a hurdle before managing to climb back on!
What do others say about Jack Kennedy?
“He seems to be one of those riders that come along only once in a long, long time,” says Enda Bolger.
Gordon Elliott said: “He has made a huge impression on racing in a very short time, but it’s no surprise to see him doing so well – and being used by so many other trainers. He’s a good young lad, who works hard and does what he’s told.
“He seems to be a relaxed fella, easygoing, and that’s good. If you ride relaxed when the pressure’s on, that’s a big help,” says Charlie Swan.
So the young jockey is very well thought of! Will we see him ride some winners at the Festival?