PAT HEALY: In his latest blog, Pat begins by sending best wishes to Jack Kennedy following his lower leg fracture at Naas on Sunday.

Jack Kennedy

We have to start by passing on our best wishes to Jack Kennedy who suffered a lower leg fracture after his fall from Top Bandit at Naas on Sunday.

Jack was flying high in the jockeys’ championship, leading Paul Townend by 18 winners after Paul’s double at Naas and had already won three Grade 1s this season too.

It’s been the story of Jack’s career, he just can’t seem to get on an injury-free roll. We know Jack will be back, but it’s just unfortunate, and it must be so frustrating for him personally.

For such a young man, he’s been on the radar for so long because he was riding pony racing winners when he was nine years of age – that’s 14 years ago now. The amount that he has done already, any jockey that retired with that amount of success would have had a fantastic career.

I’m sure there’s plenty more to come from Jack Kennedy in the future and hopefully we see him back in the saddle as quickly as possible. Will he be back for Cheltenham? I don’t know, but he’ll know more himself when he sees his surgeon Paddy Kenny on Friday.

We wish Jack the best and hopefully he’ll bounce back quickly.

Jack Cleary

Well done to Jack Cleary who had a double at Dundalk last Friday night. Young Jack is a lovely kid and is the son of former jockey Micky Cleary.

Micky was stable jockey to Paddy Mullins back in the day and it was fitting to see the circle complete when one of Jack’s winners on Friday night was for Tom Mullins, son of Paddy.

Jack is claiming seven and he’s attached to Aidan O’Brien, so I’m sure he’ll be learning lots down in Ballydoyle.

He’s one to keep an eye on and we wish him all the best for the future.

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Syndicate success at Sandown

Saturday produced a fantastic result for Noel Fehily and his racing club, with Tahmuras winning the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown.

He is another graduate of the Irish Point-to-Point sphere – he won his point in Ballingarry in May 2021 – and came from the Donnchadh Doyle operation.

He was purchased for handy enough money at £68,000 at the Cheltenham May sale, as I suppose he’s by Falco, who wouldn’t be the most fashionable of sires.

Well done to Noel Fehily and all his syndicate.

Saturday was also a brilliant day for Donnchadh Doyle as he won the feature race at Cork with Lucky Max, who was trained by his brother Sean and ridden by Rob James.

Sunday at Naas

On Sunday we rolled onto Naas for the first Grade 1 of the year in Ireland with the Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle.

We have to give a big round of applause to racecourse manager Eamonn McEvoy. Naas has a huge population on its doorstep and Eamonn and his team are working hard to try and get them through the gates.

They were once again rewarded with a fantastic crowd at the Kildare venue on Sunday, who were there to witness a Willie Mullins treble, with Appreciate It, Champ Kiely (pictured below) and Hunters Yarn.

All three were graduates of Pat Doyle’s Suirview Stables, so it was a big day for them too.

In the Grade 1, Champ Kiely did it the hard way by making all the running, under a fantastic Danny Mullins’ spin.

The disappointment was Grangeclare West, who could only finish fifth. He obviously wasn’t the same horse that had won at Navan and it’ll be interesting to see what happens with him in future.

I think the result was a big nod in the direction of Marine Nationale, who Champ Kiely finished fourth behind in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse in early December. Irish Point who finished second in that race, was second to Champ Kiely on Sunday, so it’s definitely form to take notice of.

Until next week.

DAQMAN Weds: Kempton NAP
DAQSTATS Weds: Kempton NAP
THE STRIKER Weds: Sunderland v Fulham (FA Cup)
THE EDGE Thurs: India v Australia 1st Test
PAT HEALY blog: The Perfect Festival!
THE WEEK AHEAD: Super Bowl week !!
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