We've seen some fantastic races and contests so far this week at Punchestown, but on Wednesday, we saw an 18-year-old jockey ride John Kiely's trained A Dream To Share to victory, in what was one of the best moments of the festival.
John Gleeson, son of one of Ireland's most well-known faces in racing coverage, Brian, was the teenage jockey who won and the scenes which followed the race were fantastic.
⭐️ The dream goes on for A Dream To Share!
🏇 Five runs
🥇 Five wins
🏆 G1 @punchestownrace Champion Bumper
🏆 G1 Champion Bumper
He's got a Leaving Cert to complete, but more G1 glory for John Gleeson aboard A Dream To Share for John Kiely 👏 pic.twitter.com/4Q3YH1WAUV
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 26, 2023
John Gleeson still has a Leaving Cert to prepare for in the coming months, but if there was ever an excuse to take a couple of days away from the books, this is certainly it.
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The young jockey held off competition from the experienced Patrick Mullins on Tullyhill, to take home Punchestown glory.
The Gleeson family react to John's triumphant win
After the race, Brian Gleeson was overcome with emotion and speaking to Jane Mangan of RTE, he said:
You know what it means - the Mangans (to the likes of us in), the Kielys as well as the Gleesons...what racing is all about.
It's the stuff of dreams
Brian's wife Claire also spoke about her son's career so far and how they've helped him balance school work with his racing career.
I've had to become a very cool person. It's what he wants to do, the Leaving Cert will come. He's worked hard, he's been putting in the study, he's been working both together and he has been trying. I'll give him that and he just said 'Mam, trust me. I'm doing my study and I love racing'. So you know what, you've just got to go with the flow and I'm not stressing, I gave that up a long time ago, I had to.
Star bumper performer A Dream To Share has proven aptly named for his trainer John Kiely and the Gleeson family. pic.twitter.com/3YDwHTivCJ
— RTÉ Racing (@RTEracing) April 26, 2023
A heartwarming moment for the family and all involved with the Gleeson family, and judging by John's performance at Punchestown, we'll likely be hearing a lot more of his name in years to come.