Ashforth's Angles: a rare Irish raid on Leicester

Tadgh O’Shea is retained rider for Jimmy Long’s Thistle Bloodstock

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (  

 By David Ashforth 5:50PM 3 OCT 2016 

PERSONALLY, I’ll be going to Brighton, which will give me the chance to see how Jim Crowley and Silvestre de Sousa are bearing up as they chase each other round the country in search of the jockeys’ championship.


De Sousa was riding at Pontefract on Monday. After Brighton he’s off to Kempton’s evening meeting then, on Wednesday, it’s Nottingham in the afternoon and back to Kempton in the evening, a grand total of almost 600 miles, not counting the miles on horseback.

Crowley was at Windsor on Monday. After Brighton he’s shadowing De Sousa (maybe they’ll share a car, or helicopter) to Kempton, Nottingham and Kempton again. It’s fairly mad but if you had the chance to be champion jockey (you haven’t) you’d probably do the same. We’ll have to hope that the winner doesn’t drop off to sleep while being presented with the trophy.

Shanahan raids Leicester

While Crowley and De Sousa battle it out, Leicester hosts a rare Irish raid in the form of five runners, all owned by Thistle Bloodstock, from John Patrick Shanahan’s County Kilkenny yard.

Thistle Bloodstock’s black, yellow and red colours have become a familiar sight at Hamilton, more familiar than in Ireland. This year Shanahan boasts a Flat record of 10 wins from 63 runners in Britain (7 from 46 at Hamilton), compared with just one from 19 in Ireland. Interesting, isn’t it?

As is the stable jockey, Tadhg O’Shea. The former champion Irish apprentice, now aged 34, rode regularly in Britain between 2006 and 2012, including three years as Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s second retained jockey. When that role ended, he signed up with Thistle Bloodstock’s owner, Jimmy Long. Long is based in Dubai and O’Shea has been champion jockey five times in the UAE, including this year. So now you know. I hope it helps.

Promising apprentices

When the fate of Shanahan’s raiders has been settled there’s another chance to see the Caribbean jockey Pierre-Louis Jamin on Elegant Annie in the apprentice race (5.50). In the same race there’s also the chance to see Lewis Edmunds on Deben. Edmunds looks competent while Deben has been running consistently reasonably.

It’s always worth looking at the conditions of apprentice races and Edmunds, along with Patrick Vaughan on Zebs Lad, is able to claim 5lb from eight other apprentices and 2lb from five more because they have not ridden more than 10 winners but have ridden exactly 10 and had a decent amount of experience. A pity it’s still an impossible puzzle to solve.

It would be nice to wake up and find a list of the day’s winners in front of you but I’ve woken up over 24,000 times and it hasn’t happened yet. I’m beginning to wonder if it ever will. I don’t suppose I’ll ever marry Diane Keaton either.

On the other hand, there’s still the Sponsor Grant Tuer’s Marathon Running Handicap at Catterick (3.30) to savour. Tuer is running in both the York and New York marathons so if there’s any justice in the world (yes, I know) his Gold Show will win.

Horse Racing News | Racing Post

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.