Grand National Jockey: Jack Kennedy
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Jack Kennedy was born in 1999. Despite his young age, this talented jockey has already notched up an impressive 250 wins which include victories at Cheltenham along with numerous other Grade 1 races. He has competed in three Grand Nationals, with a 3rd place being his best result to date.
Jack Kennedy: Career
Ever since the early days of his career, Kennedy has shown immense potential. Having graduated from the pony racing circuit, Kennedy won the Dingle Derby in 2014. In 2015, Kennedy had his first official race at Clonmel. It didn’t take long for his talent to shine through. Only two weeks later, Kennedy won a seven-furlong handicap at Cork. This was only the seventh ride of his career and it was the result of partnering with Funny How.
Soon after his first win, Kennedy had another stellar performance. Partnering with Eshtiaal, he won his first race over hurdles at Down Royal. His next race continued the streak, winning a handicap hurdle on Mustadrik.
His first Grade 1 win came at the end of 2016. He rode Outlander, trained by Gordon Elliott, to win the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown. Two weeks later, Kennedy bagged another Grade 1 victory in the Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle at Naas. This time riding Death Duty, also trained by Elliott.
At only 17, Jack Kennedy won his first Cheltenham Festival race with the Elliott-trained Labaik. It was the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. The next year saw him have even more success as he ended up winning four races.
Unfortunately, in October 2019, Kennedy’s career hit its first setback as he suffered a broken collarbone. It happened when he was unseated from Swordsman, in the Grade 3 Buck House Novice Chase. The injury meant that Kennedy was out for 6 weeks. The positive news is that the timing of this injury shouldn’t interfere with Jack Kennedy Grand National plans for next year where it is thought he will be onboard Dounikos once again.
With all the success Kennedy has had over the years, it’s easy to forget that he is still only 20 years old. He comes from Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland which is an area steeped in racing history. A result of his early successes, Kennedy has often been referred to as a ‘horseracing wunderkind’.
However, Jack is not the only one in his family to have found success in horse racing. Both of his older brothers are well-known figures in the industry; Percy Kennedy is an active jockey, while his oldest brother, Michael, is a horse trainer.
Now let’s take a look a some of the most important victories Kennedy has had over the years. It remains to be seen whether a winning Jack Kennedy Grand National jockey performance will result in another addition to this list.
|2015||Ladbrokes Troytown H’cap S’chase (Grade B)||Riverside City|
|2015||Guinness H’cap||Clondaw Warrior|
|2016||Lexus S’chase (Grade 1)||Outlander|
|2017||JNwine.com Champion S’chase (Grade 1)||Outlander|
|2017||Bar One Racing Dan Moore Mem. H’cap S’ch (Grade A)||Ball D’Arc|
|2017||Lawlor’s Hotel Novice H’dle (Grade 1)||Death Duty|
|2017||Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice H’dle (Grade 1)||Mengli Khan|
|2017||Hanlon EBF Glencarraig Lady (M) Hcp S’ch (Grade B)||Definite Ruby|
|2017||Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace H’dle (Grade 1)||Apple’s Jade|
|2017||Coral.ie Leopardstown H’cap S’chase (Grade A)||A Toi Phil|
|2018||BARONERACING.COM Hatton’s Grace H’dle (Grade 1)||Apple’s Jade|
|2018||Squared Financial Christmas H’dle (Grade 1)||Apple’s Jade|
|2018||Profile Systems Champion Novice H’dle (Grade 1)||Dortmund Park|
|2018||BoyleSports National Trial H’cap S’chase (Grade B)||Folsom Blue|
|2018||Deloitte Novice H’dle (Grade 1)||Samcro|
|2018||Goffs Thyestes H’cap S’chase (Grade A)||Monbeg Notorious|
|2019||BHP Insurance Irish Champion H’dle (Grade 1)||Apple’s Jade|
|2019||Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice H’dle (Grade 1)||Commander Of Fleet|
|2019||Lawlor’s of Naas Novice H’dle (Grade 1)||Battleoverdoyen|
|2019||William Fry H’cap H’dle (Grade B)||Dallas Des Pictons|
As for the Grand National, Kennedy’s first run was in 2017 when he finished fifth on Roi Des Francs. The following year, he rode an amazing race to guide Bless The Wings to third place. He didn’t complete the course in 2019 as his mount, Dounikos, pulled up before the finish.