A field of thirteen riders went to post for the second leg of the popular charity race series, The Corinthian Challenge at Cork Racecourse Mallow yesterday. This is the fourth year of The Corinthian Challenge for Irish Injured Jockeys (IIJ) however, it’s the first time the series has included a race at the County Cork track.
Paddy Woods from Julianstown, Co. Meath is no stranger to The Corinthian Challenge as this is his third time taking part in the charity race series and the first time he has been first past the post.
Paddy adores racing and has several horses in training, in fact, Dalileo the horse he won on is his own horse trained by Johnny Murtagh where he rides out a couple of mornings every week to maintain race fitness.
Equestrian orientated personal challenges are a speciality for Paddy, who has also ridden in the Punchestown Charity Race and participated in the Mongolian Derby. The Mongolian Derby is the longest horse race on the planet which is run over 1,000km. In his first attempt at the mammoth challenge he had to retire himself at the halfway point due to broken ribs and a torn ankle but sheer determination saw him go back and compete again in 2010 when he finished in 10th place.
Paddy started his working life in R.A.C.E. as an apprentice jockey and then followed on with the stud management course in the Irish National Stud. A career change mid-twenties saw him embrace the world of mobile communications software. He is a Director of Phonovation a technology software company and a very successful one at that, as it was deemed one of the Best Managed Companies for 2018 by Deloitte Ireland and also commended for Best Submission in the Capability Category.
Phonovation was founded in 1988 where they began by offering premium rate horse racing commentary and results phone lines. Since then they have continued to create great technology and having a constant focus on return on investment for their clients to become leading providers of interactive SMS and voice services. Now, a truly international organisation with 30 years’ experience, 20 employees, offices in Dublin and London and a wide range of telecommunications services offered in over 20 countries.
Paddy is a real character, speaking after the race he said “That was the most fun I’ve ever had, with my clothes on!” so needless to say he’s looking forward to the final race of the series at Leopardstown. Speaking of Irish Injured Jockeys, Paddy said “I don’t think there is anyone involved in racing who doesn’t know the great work that the IIJ undertakes. The way the industry gets involved with events such as The Corinthian Challenge demonstrates the goodwill from all sectors of the sport and I would like to do my small part to contribute to the IIJ.”
The opening race at The Curragh won by Yvonne Connolly took place on July 21st and the final race is set to take place at Leopardstown Racecourse on October 26th. Riders will accumulate points for placings throughout the series with the overall winner to be announced at the final race in Leopardstown.
The Corinthian Challenge offers riders an opportunity to complete the hat-trick by taking part in all three races on an actual race day with the unique atmosphere and the palpable excitement that goes with it. Each rider is aiming to raise €10,000 through sponsorship and/or fundraising, all funds raised will go directly to Irish Injured Jockeys.
Pics by Pat Healy of Healy Racing