DUNDALK FRIDAY: Keane continues quest for champion jockey honours

Success is no accident – Is Joey Sheridan is destined for the top. Champion jockey material? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn – County Tipperary born apprentice jockey Joey Sheridan has really made his mark on the Irish horse racing scene in such a short period of time.

On April 24, 2019, Sheridan won his first race competitively on the Denis Hogan trained Eastern Racer at Dundalk Stadium – it was only his fifth ride in public.

It was always inevitable that Sheridan would become a jockey – it would have been a surprise if he took on any other job, given he hails from a family full of horse racing enthusiasts. From a young age Sheridan was fascinated by racing in an entirety, and when he was the right age (12) he went down the tried-and-tested pony-racing route, where he rode over 50 winners, as he got better and attained more confidence he started going to local trainer Stephen Ryan at any given chance, everything spiralled from there – he then got the chance to spend a summer with David Watchman – the rest is history.

Sheridan’s biggest winner

His biggest winner to-date was when he was rode the Willie Mullins trained Royal Illusion to a runaway success in the Tote Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh racecourse in September, 2019.

Mr Mullins took a considerable gamble booking such an inexperienced rider in a competitive lucrative contest, although Sheridan took the achievement in his stride insisting to us; “Even to get a ride for Mr Mullins in a big handicap I was over the moon but for her to win the way she did was special. He then added, “The race couldn’t have worked out better for me, I am appreciative to everyone involved in getting me the winning ride”.

Being such young rider entrusted with plenty of high-profile rides for his ‘Boss’ Denis Hogan – the nation’s (Punters/owners) eyes are constantly on him, how does he handle with this added pressure?, Sheridan responded; “I try to stay as confident as I can. You can only do your best – I am sure I will make blunders along the line although I am willing to learn at any chance given” insisted the clever 7lb claiming rider.

Sheridan is ‘officially’ the apprentice jockey at Denis Hogan’s yard, he is kept busy, and infrequently he gets time to dwell on anything other than the task in hand, we asked him what does he be at when he is not racing or in the ‘busy’ yard – he replied” I suppose Its either I’m racing or at Denis every day, so other than that there is not much time for anything else, I try and keep as fit as I can in the gym or go to fitness classes. I realize I am in a favourable position and many would love to be given the chances I have already gotten – so I wouldn’t complain about anything, things are going great for me”.

We could hardly let this jockey go-by without him giving his a horse, or two to keep an eye out for next time out, Sheridan replied; “I will stick to riding horses, not tipping them up although if I had to, the two I’d pick are as follows – Sceptical – out of our Yard. I think he is a very, very good horse and could be anything really. It’s exciting times for all in the yard and hilltop racing with this fella. He then added; “The second horse is Joven belonging to Tom Mullins, I rode him a few times last year and was placed on him. He was weak last year and going forward this year over a mile plus he could be a nice horse to follow”.

It takes a lot of work to be successful within Irish racing, while young Joey Sheridan looks to be on the right track with all things considered.