Weekend to remember for Heskin

HE may only be in the early days of a hugely promising career, but Adrian Heskin is unlikely to forget this weekend in a hurry.

Seen to great effect when making nearly all the running on Church Island in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown on Saturday, he also made his first ride at Wetherby a winning one as Thyne For Deploy opened his account in the National Festival Circus Is Here Today Maiden Hurdle.

Wetherby on a Sunday may not normally grab the headlines, but Heskin once again showed he possesses an astute tactical brain on his 18-year-old shoulders.

The teenager is tall and may have to watch his weight later in his career but for now he can just enjoy being in the limelight.

Based with Co Limerick trainer Michael Hourigan, who provided both his weekend winners, the youngster – also a winner at the Cheltenham Festival in March – makes his 7lb allowance look like gold dust.

He refused to panic as Teenage Kicks and Warren Marston went clear and a good leap at the last sealed a half-length success for the 15-8 favourite.

“It’s been a good couple of days, unbelievable really, I couldn’t have asked for more,” said Heskin.

“Saturday was fantastic, it was an unbelievable feeling to win a race such as that.

“I certainly had to work harder today than I did yesterday, but I didn’t really ask him until between the last two and he really came up for me at the last and that sealed it.

“That’s my fourth winner in England and that was my first ride here.”

After his success at Sandown Hourigan stated his desire to keep hold of Heskin, for the immediate future at least, and when questioned Heskin confirmed that to be his plan.

“I’m very happy with Mr Hourigan, I’ll stay where I am for now,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tony McCoy was joined in the parade ring by his John Smith’s Grand National-winning partner Don’t Push It as he was crowned British champion jockey for the 15th consecutive year on the final day of the season at Sandown.

Crowds poured into the Esher track to witness the end of the 2009-10 National Hunt campaign – and they were six deep around the paddock for a parade of champions.

Don’t Push It, who provided the perennial champion with a first win on Merseyside at the 15th attempt, was shown to the public and joined by four-time William Hill King George VI winner Kauto Star, Ladbrokes World Hurdle hero Big Buck’s and totesport Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander.

Albertas Run was responsible for giving McCoy Grade One wins at both Cheltenham and Aintree, and Jonjo O’Neill’s nine-year-old was also on show

Owner Trevor Hemmings’ racing manager, Mick Meagher, collected Albertas Run’s Order Of Merit cheque for £100,000.

McCoy narrowly failed in his quest for 200 winners this campaign, ending with 195.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox