Athlone, born jockey Rory Cleary is one of Ireland’s finest riders though it’s seldom that he receives the recognition he ought to have.
I would personally rate Cleary as being one of the strongest, most tactical riders that the Island of Ireland has to offer, yet he is still without a ride on most of the big races throughout the racing calendar.
Will this summer be his chance to shine?
Cleary was born and raised in Carrick-O-Brien, Athlone, surrounded by horses, it was only a matter of time before Cleary was stung by the irresistible horse racing bug. He set out on the pony racing scene at the tender age of nine. It didn’t take him long to make a name for himself, winning champion junior title five times, as well as being crowned champion senior rider – the writing was always on the wall he is a top-class rider, if given half a chance.
His first winner on a racecourse was accomplished when aged sixteen, for trainer Gerry Keane (Colin’s father), it was obvious from an early on stage that Cleary had enormous untapped ‘raw’ potential in the saddle.
Every season Cleary has evolved further..
Making the best out of whatever booked rides his agent gets him, seldom do you hear him complain about anything, he just keeps his head down, and attempts to achieve the best result possible. He has a has long been a branded an advantage to by various trainers and owners, who repetitively avail of his services in the saddle, shockingly enough he not retained by any stable nevertheless numerous leading trainers constantly benefit from his experience as a jockey.
Top trainers like Jim Bolger, Damian English and Johnny Murtagh have long been singing the praises of dependable Cleary for several seasons, and the statistics don’t lie he is a colossal benefit in the saddle, his composure and calmness has seen him get successes, from unlikely circumstances.
Cleary has got the maximum out of virtually half of the horses he’s ridden last season, even more commendable considering that three-quarters of them have been handicappers, for over 54 different trainers.
Rory Cleary, who’s now in his early thirties, is riding more efficiently and effectively than he has done for several years, everything suggests the next few seasons could be crucial for his progression though the jockey ranks. Indisputably Cleary deserves a lot more acknowledgement by trainers, owners and the merciless media. The moral of this editorial piece with support he has the chance to get his name out there to a bigger audience, which he merits.