BEN Coen and Mikey Sheehy have left Ireland for the winter to base themselves in Sydney.

Coen finished fourth in the Irish jockeys’ table this year with 53 winners. Sheehy finished second in the apprentice championship with 32 winners.

The 21-year-old Coen is based with the Chris Waller stable. He told local media: “This opportunity gives me the chance to experience another style of racing. I’ve never ridden trackwork with times as well so that’s an experience and something you can obviously take across to help you when you’re race riding.

“Racing in Australia is very tactical so having some experience down here will give me a few more tools in my toolbox. You can never learn enough.”

Sheehy (19) is based at Warwick Farm with the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable. “I’m only young and I always wanted to spend a winter away from Ireland to help with my learning,” he said. “My boss Joseph O’Brien advised me to come down to Australia. There have been a few riders from Ireland and England that have come to Australia, been successful and then gone back home more polished riders.

“Everyone tells me riding in Australia will sharpen me up as a jockey.”

Tom Madden has also headed down under for the Irish winter and had his first rides at Terang and Penshurst last week for his boss Lindsey Smith. The association came through successful Irish rider Shane Jackson.

“I will take it as it comes, I have a flight home at the end of January but if things can go well I will definitely cancel it and see what happens,” he told

“It’s very tough and competitive at home and everyone was saying Australia is great and a lot more opportunities so I thought why not?”

Madden is based in Warrnambool, managed by fellow Irishman Rob Kingston.