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Kinane talks horse-sense into young jockeys - By Shailendra Awasthi I TOI

Posted on - 15 Jan 2015

Kinane talks horse-sense into young jockeys
By Shailendra Awasthi
TOI

It was an unusual gathering at the weighing room of the Royal Western India Turf Club on Thursday morning. To see top jockey Suraj Narredu and fast upcoming riders like Neeraj Rawal and Yash Narredu among the bunch of 30-odd apprentice jockeys was surprising. But they all had a reason to be there. They wanted to pick up tips on horsemanship from Mick Kinane, arguably one of the greatest jockeys to have graced the turf in any part of the world.
 
“He is my favourite jockey“said Rawal. “I have been watching his videos and even a documentary on him. This was a great opportunity to talk to and learn something from him.“
 
Kinane, who hung up his boots in 2009 after 34 years in the saddle, was as comfortable talking to youngsters as he was at communicating with thoroughbreds all through his illustrious career as a saddle artist.
 
“If you can do well astride horses in India, you can succeed at any international track,“ said the man, who at 55 can't be described as elderly although that's a `ripe old age' for a professional jockey .“I came to India as a 19-yearold. It was the best school I had in my small career. I learned a lot here which shaped my international profile,“ admitted the man who won close to 3,000 races, including the Epsom Derby thrice and a bagful of big races throughout the world. He also won 13 champion jockey titles in Ireland. In India, he won three Indian Derby crowns apart from many other classic races.
 
Kinane, whose patience as a reinsman was at times unnerving for owners, trainers, and punters, told the youngsters to stay calm in any situation and have the self-belief to achieve laurels. “Being a jockey, you only win 15 per cent of the time, rest is all disappointment. So you can only get over the failures if you have self confidence,“ said Kinane, whose steely determination, canny racing brain and fierce will to win made him one of the best international star to have visited India.
 
Alongside Kinane, the winner of the 2008 Indian Derby astride rank outsider Hotstepper, the young jockeys also got the chance to interact with two more Indian legends, Malesh Narredu and Aslam Kader. Kader was appointed to teach apprentice jockeys at RWITC last month.

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