The 2016 Irish National Hunt Jockeys’ Team to take on Australia in this year’s Jockeys’ Challenge is Katie Walsh, Luke Dempsey and Ian McCarthy, along with Australia-based Cork-born jockey, Johnny Allen.
This is the 30th consecutive year that an Irish team has been invited to Australia to participate in the jockey challenge. There have already been 40 contests staged in the two countries, with Ireland taking the honours on 24 occasions, Australia winning 15 times and one draw.
Australia has won the Jockeys Challenge for the last two years and Irish Team Manager, Seán Lynch, is keen to see the Irish team get back to winning ways:
“We have a strong team heading over this year to join Johnny Allen in taking on the Australians and I’m very confident that we can win. It’s a great experience for the jockeys who travel over and we receive the very best of Australian hospitality every year.”
Luke Dempsey and Ian McCarthy will fly out with manager, Seán Lynch, on August 20th and will compete in the first of two racedays at Murraybridge on August 24th. They will be joined by Katie Walsh and Johnny Allen for the second part of the contest on ‘Irish Day’, August 27th at Morphetville. Irish day at Morphetville ranks as the second biggest raceday of the year in South Australia, attracting a large Irish contingent.
While in Australia, Katie Walsh will seek to emulate her brother Ruby’s success in the 2015 Grand National Steeplechase in Ballarat, by taking part in the feature race on the final day of the Sportsbet-Ballarat jump racing festival on August 21st.