New Ross – born jockey Tom O’Brien, (33), had an armchair ride in winning the Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow today on Elegant Escape for leading UK trainer Colin Tizzard.
Son of Jim O’Brien, who works for Joseph O’Brien’s stables at Carrick-on-Suir, Tom learned his skills with Shay Slevin, Caim, and his uncle Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle before moving to a career in Britain in 2004.
He has had a successful career riding for some of the biggest stables cross-channel and finished runner-up on McKelvey to Silver Birch in the 2007 Aintree Grand National.
It was O’Brien’s second victory in the Welsh Grand National. He won on Dream Alliance for Philip Hobbs in the 2009 race.
There is another link with Wexford in today’s big race success.
Elegant Escape (trained by Gordon Elliott) was second on his only start in a point-to-point behind Samcro (then trained by Colin Bowe, now with Gordon Elliott), in a four-year-old maiden at Monksgrange, near Enniscorthy, in 2016.
And to add a further chapter. The runner-up, Damses De Teillee, now trained by David Pipe, was a winner at Ballyarthur, Cork, for Barry O’Neill and Colin Bowe in April 2016.
Seven pound claimer Sean O’Keeffe, from Harveystown, Taghmon, enjoyed his biggest success to date on Jetez, (11/1), who was a convincing winner of the €30,000 two-mile handicap hurdle at Leopardstown.
Trainer Jessica Harrington said; “Sean has a great head on him. He comes into me a couple of days a week and he’s great.”
AUDIO ADDITION – Courtesy of Attheraces
Tom O’Brien winning the Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow today on Elegant Escape.
Future Gold Cup winner? Elegant Escape – following in the footsteps of a certain Native River… pic.twitter.com/gENjJ7aJCU
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) December 27, 2018