Kennedy’s brilliant horsemanship earns an unlikely victory

Jack Kennedy
Jack Kennedy
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TEENAGE jockey Jack Kennedy produce the ride of the year – and possibly the recovery of the decade – when performing a minor miracle to win on Robin Des Mana at Clonmel.

Trained by Gordon Elliott, the chaser pitched on the landing after the fourth fence at the track in Ireland and his race appeared to be over when Kennedy – the rising star of the weighing room – slid out of the saddle and was left clinging on.

As the horse continued galloping, and with the jockey’s feet almost on the turf, he somehow managed to pull himself back on board with the strength of an Olympic gymnast and keep the partnership intact.

Robin Des Mana had lost his position, but soon found his way back to the front and got the better of a late duel with 50-1 shot Kiera Royale to prevail by half a length.

As replays of the race were played out on social media, and Sky News, a modest Kennedy said: “I was a little bit embarrassed that I got thrown out of the saddle so I said I’d better try and stay on him!

“I got shot out of the saddle, it was a silly little mistake and I thought I was gone but didn’t fancy getting galloped on.

“I was lucky the railing was there as I’d have been gone out of the race and he kept straight and that was a big help.

“I got in underneath the last (fence) and could see the other horse coming to me, but he pulled it out.”

Kingswell Theatre could return to Cheltenham for a tilt at the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase on December 15.

The eight-year-old made a winning return to action when registering a first victory over the unique course at the Gloucestershire track last month.

The horse is trained by jockey Tom Scudamore’s brother Michael who said: “He has come back in great form from Cheltenham and, all being well, he will head back there later this month.

“He has gone up to a mark of 142, which makes life a bit tougher, but he seems to like the place and he did it very well there last time, so it is the sensible thing to go back there.”

He added: “It was a win that gave Tom a great buzz.

“He had a great thrill from it and it helped having such a willing partner.”

Blaklion heads a field of 16 for tomorrow’s Randox Health Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree.

This year’s Grand National fourth made a pleasing reappearance when second to his Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained stablemate Bristol De Mai in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

The line-up features the first three home from 12 months ago – the David Pipe-trained Vieux Lion Rouge, James Moffatt’s 2015 winner Highland Lodge and The Last Samuri. The latter, trained by Kim Bailey, heads the weights.

Meanwhile Douvan will not line up in tomorrow’s Grade One Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.

The Willie Mullins-trained runner could reappear in Ireland, leaving Colin Tizzard’s Fox Norton favourite.