The South Australian Jockey Club’s ever popular Irish Race Day at Morphettville on Saturday September 1 is fast approaching.
On the track, the highlight of the day will be the two jumping races where the Australian and Irish teams will lock horns for the forty third occasion in such a competition.
The first clash dates back to 1986 when a visiting team of four Australian jockeys toured Ireland to compete against the Irish. That series ended as a draw which remains to this day as the only tied series between the nations.
The ensuing years of battle have seen the Irish team build a healthy lead and their victory last year took the scorecard to Ireland 26 wins, Australia 15 and 1 drawn.
Representing the visiting team this year will be two riders travelling from Ireland in Adam Short and Donal McInerney and two Australian based Irish riders in Martin Kelly and Shane Jackson.
Adam Short earlier this year landed the biggest win of his career to date winning the 100,000 Pound Chanelle Pharma Handicap Chase on Last Goodbye on the second day of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown. It was Adam’s success in the Adare Manor Opportunity Series which clinched him the trip to Australia.
Donal McInerney has too enjoyed great success in the past year and with 33 winners for the 2017/18 racing season was crowned champion conditional rider, a healthy 7 winners clear of his nearest rival.
The Aussie based pair of Martin Kelly and Shane Jackson are both coming off fine seasons, in particular Martin Kelly who has enjoyed terrific success in South Australia in 2018. At Oakbank this year Kelly won the feature Sugar Financial Services Hurdle on Abebe and only last month won the South Australian Grand National Hurdle at Morphettville on Mystic Prince.
Shane Jackson earlier this month won the Victorian Grand National Hurdle on Cougar Express, a horse he won on back in June at Morphettville. Jackson’s other big win this year came at the famous Warrnambool carnival in May where he won the Brierly Steeplechase on Gold Medals.
It looks a formidable team to represent Ireland and the Australian side will need to be at their best on the day to pull one back on the scoreboard!
Aside from the fabulous racing as is always the case for Irish Race Day there is no shortage of great entertainment and hospitality packages. Check out the Morphettville website here.