A young jockey, Kevin Sexton (19 from Nurney, has been chosen to face Australia in the annual Jockey’s Challenge down under as part of Team Ireland.
This will be the 39th clash between Australian and Irish teams of jump jockeys and the 28th consecutive year that an Irish team has been invited to Australia to participate in the two races which take place at Murray Bridge on Wednesday 27 August and Morphetville on Saturday 30.
Kevin will be joined by Brian Cawley, Niki O’Shea and Donal MacAuley who have been co-opted into the team for the second year in a row.
Kevin is the current Champion Conditional Jockey, winning the title with 22 wins, three more than his nearest rival. This will be his first visit to Australia. On the upcoming trip, Sexton said “I have spoken to my weigh room colleagues who have ridden in the challenge series in the past and they all say it’s a brilliant experience. As we get close to heading out, I’m getting really excited about it and can’t wait to get going.”
Team Ireland claimed the Irish v Australian Jumps Jockeys Challenge for a 24th time at Morphettville last September and the score in the series stands at 24 wins for Ireland and 13 for the Australians with one drawn series. The last time that an Australian team came to Ireland was in 2007 when the visitors proved successful.
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) said: “The Irish versus Australian Jockeys’ Challenge is a great initiative that has been around for almost 30 years, building ties between Ireland and Australia and helping to promote the sport in both countries.
“I wish the very best of luck to Kevin, Brian, Niki and Donal.”