Jessica Harrington and Ronan Whelan win 2018 Curragh Training and Riding Performance
October 18, 2018
Kildare Village played host to the annual Curragh Racing Awards in association with Tipperary Crystal on Monday, 15th October. The awards were attended by some of the biggest names in Irish horse racing.
Trainer Jessica Harrington and jockey Ronan Whelan were the big winners of the evening as they were awarded the leading ‘Training and Riding Performances of the Year’ having been selected by an expert panel of judges. Harrington trained Alpha Centauri to win the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas and I’m So Fancy, a winner of three Stakes races at the Co. Kildare venue, while victories on Skitter Scatter and Sea The Lion ensured Ronan Whelan of his first Curragh Racing Awards accolade.
The Special Achievement Awards, in association with Kildare Village and the Irish Daily Mail, were presented to Dr. Adrian McGoldrick for his contribution to the Curragh and Irish Horse Racing through his role as IHRB Medical Officer and Curragh Racecourse foreman Pat Webb along with his ground staff team for the wonderful work carried out during the season to produce the best quality ground for racing
Aidan O’Brien was the Leading Trainer of the Season having won 34 races and over €3.3 million in total prize money, while his youngest son Donnacha was Leading Jockey with a notable 19 victories. Mrs Sue Magnier was crowned leading owner for the 2018 season with a total of 35 winners.
Derek McGrath, CEO of the Curragh Racecourse also commented: “We have witnessed excellent racing and great performances throughout our 2018 season with 41 individual trainers, 40 individual jockeys and 101 owners visiting the winner’s enclosure this year. Our races were strongly contested this season highlighted by 1614 runners who competed for just over 10 million euro in total prize money, while there were 73 overseas trained runners.
“We have appreciated the tremendous support of the racing industry over the past two years and look forward to working closely with all stakeholders as we approach a very exciting and historic year for the racecourse. The long hot and dry summer was very welcome, but it also created challenges and I would like to particularly commend that Curragh team for going to such great lengths to provide the best ground possible.”
He added, “Our re-development project is progressing very well and the racecourse is currently a hive of activity with contractors working on the construction of the new grandstand to have it fully completed for our 2019 racing season with the first of 19 race days taking place on 13th April.”
Curragh Racing Award Winners 2018
Leading Riding Performance: Ronan Whelan
Leading Training Performance: Jessica Harrington
Special Achievement Award in association with Kildare Village: Pat Webb and team
Special Achievement Award in association with the Irish Daily Mail: Adrian McGoldrick
Leading Owner: Mrs Sue Magnier
Leading Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Leading Jockey: Donnacha O’Brien