A total of ten riders went to post in the final leg of The Corinthian Challenge Charity Race Series for Irish Injured Jockeys (IIJ) at Leopardstown Racecourse last Saturday. The exciting charity race for amateurs was won by Kilkenny man Michael O’Neill aboard Slate Lane for trainer Emmet Mullins in the colours of owner, Paul Byrne. The overall winner of the series, Damien Moore, was also crowned at Leopardstown. Having won or been placed in all three races of the series Damien, had accumulated the most points, the highlight winning the opening leg of the challenge at Naas Racecourse.
Speaking after the race winning rider Michael O’Neill said “this is unbelievable, I absolutely loved it! I tried to follow Emmet Mullins’ instructions to the tee and he was spot on and the horse delivered for me in great style. I am so grateful to Emmet, the owner Paul Byrne and all the team in the yard for their support. The whole challenge has been amazing to be part of and I’d encourage anyone thinking about it to just go for it, it’s for a great cause!”
This year’s 2023 Corinthian Challenge Champion Damien Moore made his lifelong dream come true having placed in all three races in the race series. Damien won the opening leg of the series at Naas, finished second in race two at The Curragh and placing third aboard Noble Anthem in Leopardstown last Saturday, which lead him to collectively receiving 22 points and winning the competition outright.
Michael Higgins, General Manager, Irish Injured Jockeys commented “What an exciting series it has been, each of our three races had different winners which is fantastic. The riders worked hard to raise awareness and funds for Irish Injured Jockeys throughout and we have had brilliant fun along the way too!”
The Corinthian Challenge is a popular annual charity race series run by Irish Injured Jockeys Fund to raise awareness and much needed funds for the national charity. Challengers are essentially volunteers who apply to participate in the three-race series, they each get the chance to experience firsthand what it is like to be a jockey from training and fitness to race preparation right through to riding on the track at Naas, The Curragh, and Leopardstown Racecourses respectively.