The 98th annual Far Hills Races attracted a strong cast of overseas-based horses, and the New Jersey steeplechase meet’s rich races also are a magnet for many of the top jump jockeys in England and Ireland. Here are the overseas-based jockeys scheduled to ride in the Grand National (Gr. 1).
Adrian Heskin, 26, is a native of County Cork and has ridden successfully in Ireland and England. He made a strong early impression in 2010 and has ridden winners at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival meet. He rides Jaleo for trainer Ben Pauling in the Grand National.
Brian Hughes, 33, returns to Far Hills for a third shot at the Grand National, after finishing third in 2016 aboard Sharp Rise and fifth last year on Hammersly Lake. He had a career year on England’s northern racing circuit in 2016-2017 with 135 wins, including a record 20 trips to the winner’s enclosure at Ayr Race Course. He rides Hammersly Lake in the Grand National for trainer Charlie Longsdon.
Jack Kennedy, 19, visited the U.S. earlier this year and rode Zanjabeel to victory in Belmont Park’s Lonesome Glory Handicap (Gr. 1) for trainer Ricky Hendriks. He rides principally for Gordon Elliott and won 62 races for him last season, a 22% strike rate. He rides Clarcam for trainer Elliott.
Danny Mullins, 26, won last year’s Grand National aboard Gillian Johnston’s Mr. Hot Stuff. His first foray into the U.S. in 2015 yielded a win in the Queen’s Cup MPC ’Chase. The son of successful trainers Tony and Mags Mullins, he rode on the flat until his weight began to rise. He had 46 wins and purse earnings of approximately $1-million in the 2016-2017 season, and in the current season he has 18 wins from 253 starts. He’ll ride Days of Heaven in the Grand National for trainer Jack Fisher.
David Mullins, 22, is a cousin of Danny Mullins and owner-trainer Emmet Mullins. The son of Tom Mullins, he was the second-youngest jockey ever to win the Grand National at Aintree when he partnered with Rule the World to win in 2016. He rides Tornado Watch.
Robbie Power, 36, is the son of well-known show rider Con Power and won the 2007 Grand National at Aintree aboard 33-1 shot Silver Birch. He also won the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup aboard Sizing John. He’ll be aboard Jury Duty for trainer Gordon Elliott.