I was delighted to get a winner on Kilkeaskins First in the two and a half mile handicap hurdle in Fairyhouse yesterday. A son of Mountain High and out of an Oscar mare, Dad bought him as a three year old in the Goffs’ Landrover Sale in 2014. From the beginning, he always showed potential at home and any jockeys who rode him in his work always liked him. However, he was disappointing when pulling up in his first run in a four year old point-to-point in Oldcastle. That race was won by Denis Murphy’s Lisheen Prince who is now trained in England by Philip Hobbs. Dad then decided to make the switch to the track and after finishing tenth in a bumper in Roscommon under Katie Walsh we gave him a few runs over hurdles.
I rode him in two of his four maiden hurdle runs, and although he was disappointing on the track he was still working well at home so we didn’t completely lose hope. He got a handicap mark of 85 and ran in his first handicap hurdle in Roscommon where he finished well down the field. That was at the start of August and he didn’t run again until yesterday at Fairyhouse. He had a few minor injuries that we had looked at, so while that set him back a few weeks he seemed to come back the better of it. With the new straight gallop, we were able to give him plenty of work at home over the last few weeks. He was working very well with some of the better horses in the yard so we were very pleased with him coming into the race. Due to his recent track form, however, we could not be overly confident. Everything went in his favour during the race, he jumped better than normal and travelled well throughout. In the end, he kept on well to comfortably hold off the challenges of Wee Small Hours. It’s always great to ride a winner for Dad and the fact that he owned it as well made it even better. He is a lovely horse and everyone at home was delighted to see him finally have his day!