PAT HEALY: Pat reflects on the 23 day ban handed down to jockey Ross Coakley and asks ‘what good does it do?’ – plus pony racing at Cahersiveen and counting down to Listowel’s Harvest Festival meeting.

Ross Coakley

Like I’ve said before in this blog, I think it’s stupid to suspend a jockey for 23 days. What good does it do? Ross Coakley (pictured below) should have been fined if he was deemed to have broken the rules but to suspend him for 23 days is ludicrous. By all means fine him but give him the chance to earn that back by riding. It can end up costing jockeys a fortune depending on the time of the year and the form they’re in. I see no sense in banning jockeys and I can’t help but vent my frustration about it. They’re fully fledged professionals and of course they make mistakes, but it shouldn’t be the way to go about things.


I was at Cahersiveen pony racing on Sunday, and it was a fantastic day out at the South Kerry venue. It’s a very unique course in that you can stand on the roadside and look down on the racetrack. It’s the Happy Valley of the pony racing world. It was very well run and some of the rising stars of the future had winners. Dylan O’Connor and Kian ‘Tubbs’ McNally both had doubles, along with Adam Grant. Jack de Bromhead and Paddy Hanlon both had winners too, and with those surnames you don’t need me to tell you who their fathers are! These are the names of the next generation of jockeys who will be hoping to emulate their heroes who have gone before them.

Harvest Festival

We’re less than three weeks away from the Listowel Harvest Festival and we’re due plenty of rain in that time, which will be welcome! In an ideal world I’d like a drop of rain every day leading up to the festival and then a dry week for racing, but we’re in a good place regardless and the track looks in great nick. The whole town is excited about Frankie Dettori coming over and all the shopfronts are decorated with racing bits, so there’s a great buzz around. The week itself is worth 13million euro to the North Kerry economy and we’re well and truly on the countdown to it now.