Pat O’Donovan, winner of the Irish Racing Excellence Award at the Irish Stud and Stable Staff Awards sponsored by Godolphin, will have a race named in his honour on Darley Irish Oaks weekend at the Curragh.
The Pat O’Donovan Irish Racing Excellence Award Winner Nursery will be staged at the Curragh on Sunday, July 19.
Pat, who is assistant trainer to Jim Bolger in Coolcullen, Co. Carlow, was also the winner of the Rider/Groom Award at the ceremony held at the Keadeen Hotel in Newbridge on April 14.
Twenty-time British Champion National Hunt Jockey AP McCoy presented the trophies. Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine was guest of honour for the event.
Originally from Enniskeane, Bandon, Pat moved to Kilkenny 30 years ago at the age of 16 and began working for Jim Bolger. He has been closely involved with the world champion New Approach and European champions Teofilo, Dawn Approach and St. Jovite and was highly commended for always offering his knowledge and guidance to young riders.
Pat O’Donovan commented: “It was a great honour to win the Irish Racing Excellence Award, so to have a race in my name on Darley Irish Oaks weekend as well, is really special. At this stage in my career, I never expected a race to be named after me. I’m really flattered and looking forward to the race.”
Evan Arkwright, Commercial Manager of the Curragh Racecourse said: “Pat has been a fantastic role model for stable staff all over Ireland and it is appropriate for us to honour his achievements as he has been associated with so many major winners at the Curragh.”
Pictured: Pat O’Donovan, winner of the Irish Racing Excellence Award, with AP McCoy at the Irish Stud and Stable Staff Awards last April.