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Fairytale finish for Jessica O’Gorman in first racecourse ride

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Newmarket-on-Fergus jockey Jessica O’Gorman had a dream outcome to her first racecourse ride.

Jessica rode her first winner on her first ride as Miss Cunning had a length and a half success over the 3/1 favourite Sienna Lady in Dundalk on Saturday. It was the third win at the Louth track for Miss Cunning who picked up well under a hands and heels ride to gain the upper hand over Sienna Lady inside the final furlong.

Speaking after Saturday’s success, Jessica admitted, “I’m gobsmacked, I can’t actually believe it. I just want to say thanks to the boss and everyone in the yard for all the help, if it wasn’t for them I’d never be here and thanks for the opportunity to ride the horse, I missed out a few weeks ago but the boss was good enough to give me the ride again so thanks to Kevin for that”.

An apprentice jockey at Kevin Prendergast’s yard in Kildare, Jessica’s background is originally in show jumping. Stable representative for the winning trainer, Jeremy Harley noted that it was a brilliant start to the career of the seventeen year old.

“We’re absolutely delighted, it’s Jessica’s first ride on the track and she’s riding for the boss so it’s a great start to her career. Hopefully it’ll be one of many. The filly likes the track and Jessica gave her a great ride. She was under strict instructions to look the part and hopefully she did,” Harley stated.

She is not the first Clare jockey to be an apprentice for Prendergast. Six-time British Champion jockey, Kieren Fallon was also an apprentice at the Kildare stables.

Members of the O’Gorman and Kilmartin family in Newmarket-on-Fergus have expressed their pride at Jessica’s dream start and said it was testament to the amount of work she has undertaken under the watchful eyes of Kevin Prendergast. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the racing was held behind closed doors meaning that family members were unable to attend the memorable Dundalk outing.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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