Twelve riders went to post in the opening leg of the series at Naas Racecourse last Sunday and what an exciting race for spectators and supporters it turned out to be!
Noble Anthem and Lord Vader fought it out with jockeys Damien Moore and Michael O’Neil battling so hard to the line, the winning rider Damien ended up winded and ‘buying some land’ as they say. Within a few minutes, he was on his feet again relishing the celebrations. The pair finished within half a length of one another and 6 lengths clear of Le Comte De Frou in the hands of Katy Browne, and Mornington Bay for Aimee Murphy.
Damien Moore from Kildare living in Monasterevin achieved a lifetime ambition, riding his own horse Noble Anthem, trained by Adrian Keatley to victory in the Corinthian Challenge Charity Race in aid of Irish Injured Jockeys. Growing up the ex-trainee jockey had always hoped to ride on the track. He has over 8 years of experience in the horse racing industry, having previously worked as a work rider in multiple yards prior to starting his own business recently as a professional horse racing tipster.
Speaking after the race he commented “It’s absolutely fantastic, a feeling I will never forget! It’s something I always wanted to do and I’m genuinely over the moon. The people doing this challenge are a fantastic bunch of people to work with the whole way through and it’s all for a great cause, anyone thinking about doing the challenge please do, it’s an absolute treat!”
The Corinthian Challenge is a three-race series open to amateurs who want to fundraise in a unique way while enjoying the experience of a lifetime. Each rider cites a different reason for their participation, for some it simply offers the chance to experience the life of a professional jockey horse-racing at some of Ireland’s best racecourses. For most participants the reasons are personal, many challengers have close connections to the industry or those who have benefitted from the charity over the years and want to give something back.
The colourful mix of participants hail from Antrim to Kilkenny with interesting day jobs from a road haulage company owner to a champion boxer taking part, every rider brings with them a unique story to tell. Their commitment is substantial, in addition to training, riding out, getting race fit and staying sound throughout the three-month series, each rider has been tasked with a fundraising target of €10,000.
Donations can be assigned to individual riders’ fundraising campaigns on the Corinthian Challenge online Enthuse platform.
Each race allocates points to the first four home, with ten points for a winner, seven for a second, five for third position and three for fourth. So each race has a result and then the overall series will have a Corinthian Challenge Champion based on accumulated points throughout the series.
Michael Higgins, IIJ General Manager said “The Corinthian Challenge is Irish Injured Jockey’s major annual fundraising event and we are so grateful to all of those who take part, it is a major commitment and the funds they raise are vital to our charity and all that we do here Irish Injured Jockeys. I am delighted for Damien who rode a brilliant race and was undoubtedly a very worthy winner and well done to everyone who took part”
The remainder of the charity race series will take place at The Curragh and Leopardstown Racecourse on September 24 and October 21st respectively. All participants continue to raise awareness, fundraise and train in the meantime, to support them visit www.corinthianchallenge.com where you can donate to their individual enthuse fundraising pages.