This Saturday at Morphettville is Irish day with the highlight of a great afternoon’s racing the two jumping races where Australia and Ireland will do battle in such a contest for the 43rd time.
The four man team representing the visiting nation comprises two Australian based Irishmen in Martin Kelly (update, Marin Kelly is now a late withdrawal due to injury) and Shane Jackson whilst Adam Short and Donal McInerney have flown in earlier this week from Ireland to challenge the Australian team of Richard Cully, Lee Horner, Braidon Small and Rob David.
Amongst the well wishers for the Ireland team before their departure was the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins who had this to say: “I send my best wishes to Adam Short, Donal McInerney, Shane Jackson and Martin Kelly as they prepare to compete in the Australia v Ireland Challenge Series in Adelaide. The Series symbolizes the long and enduring friendship between Ireland and Australia, one that rests not only the long history of Irish migration to Australia, but upon our shared love of sport from rugby to horse racing.”
For Adam Short and Donal McInerney they are sure to be leaning on their teammates for advice going into Saturday’s races, with the visiting riders aware that there are different variables to confront them on the weekend including a different track and quicker tempo generally in Australian races.
Jim Watters CEO for Thoroughbred Racing SA is looking forward to Saturday’s big day at Morphettville and said “The Australia v Ireland Jockey Challenge is always highly anticipated by the jockeys and spectators, and while we are thrilled to be welcoming two up and coming stars of Irish jumps racing to Australian shores, we hope that the Australian team can reverse last year’s result and keep the Challenge in Australia this time around.”