Mick Kennedy remembered
Sir, - I was saddened to read last week of the death of jockey Mick Kennedy whom I got to know when he worked for RACE and at the Curragh.
I remember him riding plenty of winners for the wily Willie Byrne, some owned, I think, by Dick McIlhagga (black, green chevron), often costly for the bookies.
But the most fondly remembered by me was at Laytown where I landed my strangest winning bet. It was a damp and foggy day, with very limited visibility. Mick’s mount finished a remote fourth but, following an objection, was awarded the race.
Mick told me he was well adrift of the leaders heading up towards Drogheda. He saw the tracks where they turned at the marker to come back to the ‘stands’, but he was pretty certain they had turned at the wrong point, so he continued on. The stewards checked and Mick got the race. A very pleasant surprise to this punter.
Mick was a lovely person, who survived the notorious sarin gas attack in Tokyo when working for the Japan Racing Association.
Speaking of Laytown, the first time I attended was in 1950 and sitting on a rug on the grass was the Aga Khan, grandfather of the present incumbent, reputedly one of the richest people in the world. No minders, watched in awe by the curious racegoers. Different times. Your etc.,
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