Welcome to our profile of leading Irish jump jockey Jack Kennedy.
We look at his current rides, history, top wins and more.
Find out more about Jack Kennedy:
Key Stats of Jack Kennedy
Name – Jack Kennedy
Date of Birth – 22 April 1999
Birthplace – Dingle, County Kerry
Big Wins: Cheltenham Gold Cup, Irish Gold Cup, Irish Champion Hurdle, Savills Chase (2), Hatton’s Grace Hurdle (3), Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Baring Bingham Novices Hurdle, Triumph Hurdle, David Nicholson Mares Hurdle, Golden Miller Novices Chase, Fred Winter Hurdle, Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, National Hunt Chase, Kim Muir, and many more top National Hunt in Great Britain and Ireland.
Jockey Profile of Jack Kennedy
Kennedy’s family background is not that of a traditional jockey, his father being a welder and his mother a child minder. However, he was inspired by the interest in horses shown by his elder brothers Michael and Paddy.
By the age of nine he had his own pony and three years’ later his father had started training a few ponies in a field opposite their home.
Jack became a big hit on the pony circuit, famously riding eight winners in a single weekend.
He was Irish Field National Champion Jockey in that sphere at the age of thirteen so it was no wonder that he made a seamless transition to National Hunt racing, securing a retainer with leading trainer Gordon Elliott.
Jack Kennedy – Key Jockey Stats
Kennedy had his first Cheltenham Festival winner at the age of seventeen on outsider Labaik in the Supreme Novices Hurdle in 2017.
He became the youngest winning jockey (21 years) in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in modern times when scoring on Minella Indo in 2021.
Prior to his injury in January 2023, he had already won three Grade 1 races this season to take his career tally to 36.
He will be disappointed to have his champion jockey hopes dented as he bids to end the four-year monopoly of Paul Townend.
Nonetheless, he has already ridden more winners this season than any previous year, eclipsing his previous best of 68 winners in 2015-16.
Jack Kennedy’s Big Race Wins
Kennedy’s 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup victory on Minella Indo must rate as a career highlight, battling on gamely to repel stable companion A Plus Tard. The placings were reversed the following season.
Other notable Cheltenham Festival wins include the Mares Hurdle aboard Black Tears (2021), the Ballymore on Samcro (2018) and the Triumph Hurdle on Farclas (2018).
Many of Kennedy’s big race wins have come in the colours of Gigginstown House Stud. He has enjoyed plenty of success aboard Delta Work in particular, his victories include the Savills Chase, Irish Gold Cup and Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase. Abacadabras (Morgiana Hurdle, Future Champions Novice Hurdle and Aintree Hurdle) have also been a money-spinner in the Gigginstown colours.
Jack Kennedy’s Most Famous Victories
Jack Kennedy stepped in for the ride on Minella Indo in the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup when Rachael Blackmore elected to ride A Plus Tard. There was only a length and a quarter between them at the line and it was a rare reverse for Blackmore who was top jockey at the festival that season.
Apple’s Jade was a very prolific winner for Gigginstown and Kennedy, winning fifteen of her 28 starts under rules. Her victories under Kennedy include the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle in 2017 and 2018 and the Irish Champion Hurdle in 2019.
Summary of Jumps Jockey Jack Kennedy
Unfortunately Kennedy suffered a broken leg in January, the fifth of his career.
He was leading the Irish jump jockeys’ championship by 18 from Paul Townend at the time.
He recently retired.
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