66-year-old becomes oldest jockey ever to win Irish National Hunt race
Liam Burke turned 66 last week.
This Sunday, he became the oldest jockey to ever ride a National Hunt winner under rules in Ireland.
There were ecstatic scenes in Limerick racecourse when Burke rode and trained Teuchters Glory to victory in the bumper, the final race on the card. The horse won by five lengths and came in at the price of 9/2.
A jockey in his younger days, the Cork man rode his last winner 35 years ago in 1988.
He said his family thought he was 'nuts' when he told them that he was planning on taking out his jockey's licence again at this stage of his life.
"You have to be nuts to do this job! It's that buzz that gets us going," he said in a brilliant interview with Kevin O'Ryan on Racing TV.
"I wanted to get that buzz again. Wanted to get that winning feeling if I could," he added.
Burke is a racing fanatic and his son Johnathan is one of the most talented riders in horse-racing right now. He is stable jockey for Harry Fry, also rides for Charlie Longsden and Oliver Sherwood and has some fancied rides in Cheltenham this week, including Love Envoi in the Mares' Hurdle.
Jonathan has many years left in the game if he plans to follow his father's footsteps. Liam went onto say that he's not finished yet.
"I might ride a couple of more. I'm still enjoying it, and while I can still do the weight, I might do it," he said.
"I'm an OAP now.
"I had the two knees replaced. But I wanted to get that winning buzz again."
66-year-old Liam Burke became the oldest jockey in Irish National Hunt history to ride a winner today.pic.twitter.com/3ugeBrr0M5
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) March 12, 2023
"I'm an OAP now," he continued.
"But that was mighty.
"I lost weight and it was a mad notion I took to come back.
"My knees gave me trouble all along but got both replaced, although it took me ages to get back right. I ride out four or five horses every day and was 66 last Monday.
Liam says he's 'not really a pub man' so the celebrations won't be wild, though he may go and 'watch the point-to-point' later on.
Teuchters Glory takes the Good Luck To All Irish Runners In Cheltenham (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race in commanding fashion, with the trainer-rider Liam Burke easing home aboard his charge to take the finale in good style 🥇 pic.twitter.com/eUKQOOlSRr
— Limerick Races (@LimerickRaces) March 12, 2023