On Sunday, February 15 2015, history was created at a field in Co. Limerick as Derek O’ Connor guided his steed Death Duty to victory in a point-to- point win. With this feat, he is now the first rider from both sides of Irish Sea to compete a record of 1000 wins. At Co. Limerick, Derek won the event by 15 lengths under ownership of Michael O’ Leary’s Stud. When announcing the proud moment Michael O’Leary’s racing manager Eddie confirmed their pleasure in helping Derek get his 1000th win and hoped that soon he would be able to match AP McCoy’s record by winning 3300 more events.
Derek O’ Connor’s illustrious wins
At the Cheltenham Festival of 2011, Derek road two horses among which first was Zemsky during Christy’s Foxhunter that he won easily by 17 lengths and followed it up with ride to victory on Chicago Grey at national Hunt Chase. The second horse had been trained by Gordon Elliot. Derek won his first point to point race in February 2000 in partnership with Rossy Orchestra which was an all mares’ maiden dash at Killaloe. He completed his 999 win at Kirkistown located in Northern Ireland astride his favourite steed Muirhead helping him on the ferocious journey. He seemed quite pleased with the turn of events as there was tremendous pressure to win and his family was there to support him.
Derek O’ Connor’s jockey career
This record making jockey who is the first person in history to make 1000 point to point wins is a humble family man from Beagh in Ireland. He has a soft corner from Cragmore, Limerick as his most loyal supporters reside here and is also home to Michael O’ Leary for whom he has ridden the most number of times. Pat Doyle, the trainer for Gigginstown House stud – Death Duty is a close friend of Derek O’Connor and had been prepping up the Brightwells Bloodstock for several years. He helped Derek choose the best horse which helped him win the race and also establish a record.