It's been a great Christmas for the yard and it was nice to see a few of our more fancied contenders win like we'd hoped!
I will run through these horses in next weeks blog, this time however I'll discuss five things I'd like to see happen in 2020
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Tiger Roll To Keep On Winning
There can only be one thing that would make 2020 a truly fantastic year and it would be Tiger Roll winning the Boyne Hurdle at Navan, before going on to win a third Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham - bringing his festival tally up to five!! Obviously if he got to take his chance at Aintree and win there as well, that'd be great too!
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🏆 Tiger Roll wins the Cross Country 🏆#CheltenhamFestival wins: FOUR— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 13, 2019
(Joins select group including Arkle)
🏇 Reigning Grand National champion
💷 Prize-money won: £867,282#TheFestivalpic.twitter.com/6TuZB70hgJ
Tiger Roll has been the horse of a lifetime and everyone is very lucky to have him around. Without Tiger Roll I massively doubt I'd still be a jockey - I owe him everything and it would be so special if we could do it again in 2020.
He's back now doing light work after his operation and he looks well. Fingers crossed he can kick on now again!
Another Grade One Winner
Every jockey on the planet wants to be winning races at the top level and I am of course no different. I'd love another Grade One win in 2020!
The Grade One victory on Hardline at Limerick last season was so special to me and once you get a taste for it, you only want more and more!
It looked all Getabird and Ruby Walsh in the Grade 1 @TeamMatchbook Betting Exchange Novice Chase, until a bad mistake at the last! The tough and classy Hardline the winner at @LimerickRaces for @donoghue_keith and @gelliott_racing... pic.twitter.com/sfcQPXbjnX— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) December 26, 2018
Hardline was close to giving me another top level victory at Punchestown in the John Durkan behind the brilliant Min and hopefully I can continue to get decent chances in these races in 2020.
Get The Spin On Envoi Allen
As anyone who's been talking to me or reading this weekly blog will know, I think Envoi Allen is an unbelievably special horse and that's why I put him in my 10 to follow for the season. He's the best horse I've ever sat on and he's the kind of horse that makes those early cold mornings much easier!
I ride him every day in his work and he astounds me each time I get up on his back. He works really well and despite how big a horse he is, he hurdles beautifully. The crazy thing is that we won't see the very best of him until he jumps a fence over three miles - the possibilities are endless with him.
📅 December 1— Racing TV (@RacingTV) December 30, 2019
Envoi Allen - a horse with the world at his feet for @gelliott_racing remained unbeaten following this win in the Royal Bond Hurdle @Fairyhouse
🏇🏻 6 races
🥇 6 wins
🏆 G1 winning hurdler
🏆 G1 Champion Bumper hero#RacingTVHighlightsOfTheYearpic.twitter.com/FkCByemDwh
It would mean the absolute world to me were I to ever get the ride on him in public. He can be a tricky customer at times and is a bit head strong - the best ones are, but I've got to know him very well over these last few months and I've loved getting the spin on him in schooling hurdles.
To get the ride though in public would mean the absolute world to me and hopefully it might just happen in 2020!
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The Image Of Horse Racing To Improve
There can be no doubt that I'm biased, but horse racing is the most interesting sport in the world and should get far more media attention that it does.
It's the only sport in the world where an ambulance follows it's competitors everywhere they go, racing is very rare in that men and women compete together off a level playing field and there's so many stories of interest whether it's jockeys losing weight, or stable staff working every hour they have minding the horses they love.
Racing needs to sell the positives much better than we currently are and this will only help our sport in a big way. The likes of Tiger Roll is managing to hit the general public and spent the summer touring the country visiting his fans. We need more promotion like this!
If we can get this right, then racing will only be in a good place.
Jockeys Getting More Respect
Social Media has been a great invention for everyone really and it's a big help to horse racing.
It engages more people towards the sport and helps to give an insight to the general public on what life is like day to day in yards.
While the positives of social media are endless, negatives are also plain to see and the abuse jockeys have to deal with is sickening! What has to be wrong with you to message abuse like that?
Every race jockeys are putting their lives on the line and to get abused for not winning a race is not good enough.
I'd love in 2020 if jockeys were simply given more respect across the board in horse racing, I think we are just treated as a disposable asset in the sport and it should change for the better. We risk our lives every time we go out there and should be respected for that.
- Keith Donoghue’s Weekly Blog: Why Racing Weights Should Rise
- Keith Donoghue's Weekly Blog: Giving Irish Racing To Racing TV Was A Mistake!
- The Racehour Podcast
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