herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

HESKIN TO TAKE OVER

LEADING jumps owner Barry Connell yesterday revealed that Danny Mullins' association as his retained rider had come to an end and that Adrian Heskin would take over the role starting at Thurles tomorrow afternoon.

Mullins became the first rider to be retained by Connell when landing the plum role in January 2013 and after a period that yielded three Grade One winners last year, two on The Tullow Tank and another on Mount Benbulben, Connell took the decision last week to change and the 21-year-old had his last rides in the job at Naas on Sunday.

NEW ROLE

Heskin is likely to begin his new role tomorrow which will mark his first ever ride for Connell who said yesterday that he came "highly recommend" to him.

"Adrian has never ridden for me before, but he comes highly recommended," Connell said. "It's purely a business decision," the owner continued. "We just took a review of the last six months or so and I've decided I'd like Adrian to ride for me.

"Danny is a good personal friend of mine and remains a good personal friend and it is just a business decision."

Heskin will begin as Connell's number one jockey at Thurles tomorrow when he rides for Ted Walsh in the Devil's Bit Juvenile Hurdle.

"He will probably have his first ride for me on a horse called King Schultz in a maiden hurdle at Thurles on Thursday,'' Connell concluded. Heskin enjoyed the biggest successes of his career so far for his old boss Michael Hourigan when winning the bet354 Gold Cup on Church Island in 2010 and riding A New Story to success at the Cheltenham Festival in the same year can look forward to a number of potential Grade One horses as Connell's number one.

As he embarks on a career over fences The Tullow Tank will be an obvious one of the 24-year-old to relish, while there is also Foxrock who racked up a couple of Grade Two races last season as a novice chaser.

Meanwhile, Richard Hughes is set to be crowned champion jockey in Britain for a third time following Ryan Moore's decision not to ride domestically again this season.

Hughes had been five in front of Moore going into racing yesterday but Moore gave up his two booked rides at Lingfield and revealed that he was instead going to concentrate on his international duties for the coming weeks.

After riding at Ascot on Saturday, Moore then flew to Canada on Sunday where he won the Woodbine International and over the coming month he is due to ride in Melbourne, America and Hong Kong.

Tony Hind who acts as agent for both Hughes and Moore said; "He's going to Australia for the Cox Plate this weekend to ride Adelaide. After that it is on to America for the Breeders' Cup, back to Australia for the Melbourne Cup, and then there's the Japan and Hong Kong races.''

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