It would appear that the oldest race meeting in Ireland is also the place to spot the saddle stars of the future.
Paul Townend picked up numerous awards for his skills in the saddle at the Castleisland Races over the Powell’s Road course. Now he’s mixing it with the best of them in the Aintree Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup meetings – amongst others.
A man who knows every blade of grass on those two testing courses, Jim Culloty has also ‘guested’ as a spectator at the races here.
Now, John O’Mahony of www.killarneytoday.com sent me a piece in which he points out the rising talents of Culloty’s nephew, Oisin Murphy. Oisin too has blazed a trail in Castleisland and has ridden many winners here.
And those searching for further signs of a sporting pedigree in young Murphy might like to know that he’s a grand-nephew of Kerry’s legendary, football goalkeeper, Johnny Culloty.
This month’s Castleisland Race meeting will be held at Powell’s Road on Sunday, June 15th from 12-30pm.
The following is John O’Mahony’s article:
A YOUNG Killarney jockey, whose uncle is Gold Cup legend Jim Culloty, has got the break he had hoped for after being booked to ride in the prestigious Investec Epsom Derby on Saturday.
Rising riding star Oisin Murphy will pilot Red Galileo for Ed Dunlop and although it is a 150-1 outsider, the young apprentice will relish the opportunity to mix it with the big boys.
Oisin, 18, will also compete in the Coronation Cup on Saturday when he will partner Beacon Lady.
The young Killarney star already registered a notable success this year when he steered Hot Streak to victory in the Temple Stakes at Haydock Park.
“We had a list of possible jockeys and after watching him win the Temple Stakes, the decision was made to book Oisin,” said Dunlop.
Last September Oisin won the Ayr Gold Cup on 20/1 shot Highland Colori.
Given that his uncle Jim is a three-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winning jockey and rode the winner of the Aintree Grand National, it’s hardly a surprise that young Oisin was determined to follow in his footsteps.
“Growing up and watching my uncle riding winners on the TV developed my love of racing.
“As soon as I was old enough I starting doing pony racing and from that moment on, I knew that I wanted to be a jockey,” he said recently.
When he was just 15 he worked for a summer at Tommy Stack’s yard in Tipperary and he spent much of the next summer in Ballydoyle with Aidan O’Brien.
To further his career, Oisin then moved to the UK to join up with classic winning trainer Andrew Balding and his career has steadily taken off since then.