Mick Kinane--8st 4lbs--52.5 kgs
Mick KinaneBorn on June 22nd, 1959, Mick rode his first winner on Musicari at Leopardstown on March 19th, 1975. It is amazing to think that in his apprentice days Mick had problems controlling his weight!

Since then he has notched up 13 jockeys' championships in Ireland and was the leading jockey in terms of prizemoney won in the UK in 2001, thanks to Galileo. His style in the saddle is very distinguished with a perch like seat with toes-in-the irons in mid-race before getting into a neat tuck in a finish. He is equally effective riding from the front or from behind but best of all he is the master tactician, has an acute sense of pace in a race and is fully aware of how he is doing in relation to the others. If Dettori is the Beckham of racing, Kinane is more akin to Ronaldo....scoring with a killer instinct and it is a pleasure to watch.

Originally 15 years with Dermot Weld, he teamed up very successfully with Aidan O'Brien and John Magnier to form the most powerful racing team at Coolmore between 1998 and 2003.

Regarded by most as the perfect jockey, Mick rarely gets his riding wrong. When he has, such as when he dropped a rein on Giant's Causeway in the final metres of a dramatic 2000 Breeders' Cup Classic, he would have been the person most annoyed with himself.

Sure enough, revenge came very sweet when he romped away with the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Belmont Park in 2001 with Johannesburg.

Mick's big-race ride on Rock of Gibraltar in the Breeders' Cup Mile also left a lot to be desired. The excuses offered clouded the fact that "The Rock" was still last but one with 10 lengths to make up (off a slowish pace) as they entered the straight.

It is easy with hindsight, but no amount of superhorse can afford to give up that amount of ground in a race of that calibre. Surely he could have had him 2 or 3 lengths closer "in contact" with the field !

Mick is the only jockey to have won the English & Irish Derby, the Belmont Stakes, the Arc, the Japan Cup, the Melbourne Cup, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Breeders' Cup Turf. Not even his fellow jockey jet-setters such as Lester Piggott, Cash Asmussen or Steve Cauthen achieved that.

In 2003, Mick celebrated his 100th Group 1 win with probably the most sensational. At Newbury, in the Lockinge Stakes, Mick & Hawk Wing blitzed the field in the early stages. Three furlongs out the field was toiling and they eventually streaked to an 11 length win in the face of a strong head wind which saw them post a time just 1 second outside the track record in rain-softened going.

The next weekend at The Curragh, Mick scored a sensational Group 1 double by taking the Tattersalls Gold Cup on Black Sam Bellamy and denying 1-3 on French hotpot Six Perfections in the Irish 1,000 Guineas on the Aidan O'Brien-trained Yesterday.

Mick's Photo Gallery
Kinane going to the start of the Arc on Montjeu.
Photo courtesy of www.France-Galop.comKinane after winning the Arc in the Longchamp paddock.
Photo courtesy of www.France-Galop.comKinane winning the 2002 Canadian International on Ballingarry.
Photo courtesy of Emirates Racing Series

GROUP 1 Winners:
He has won all the Irish Group 1 races that exist. The UK ones missing from his Group 1 cabinet are the 1,000 Guineas, Coronation Cup, Yorkshire Oaks, the Sprint Cup and QE II Stakes.

He has only been without Group 1 winners in 1984 & 1991 since he first started the sequence in 1982......not a bad effort!

Mick rode 12 Group 1 winners in 2000, an amazing 17 wins in 2001, 14 in 2002 and 8 in 2003

In 2002, he steered Rock of Gibraltar to a 7th Group 1 win on the trot, a world record.

In the usual jockey merry-go round of late 2003, it was announced that the Ballydoyle team were dispensing of Mick's services in order to bring a chap 20 years his junior in the form of Jamie Spencer. However, 2004 did not go at all well for Ballydoyle or Spencer. Mick in the meantime had teamed up with the guru of Irish trainers, John Oxx. In the 2004 Irish Champion Stakes, Mick stole the milk from all the other kittens when swooping onto the scene in a magic late rush on Azamour.

These come-from-behind rides were repeated in 2005 again with Azamour in thr King George, Proclamation in the Sussex Stakes and Electrocutionist in the International - the last of which has to be visually the most exciting race since Dancing Brave's Arc in 1986. As soon as it was apparent that Dettori would not make it back in time from injury to ride the magnificent Italian colt, Kinane had been chalked up for the ride a full two weeks before the race and was licking his lips at the prospect. His Group 1 tally to October 4th, 2005, is 117, split across 9 racing nations namely:

  • Ireland:..32
  • UK:...47
  • France: 18
  • Germany: 4
  • Italy: 7
  • US & Canada: 6
  • Japan: 1
  • Australia: 1
  • Hong Kong: 1

Here is a full list of his wins at the highest level to date:

GROUP 1 WINNERS

1982
Irish 2,000 Guineas : Dara Monarch

1983
Phoenix Stakes : King Persian

1985
Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp : Committed
Premio Parioli : Again Tomorrow

1986
Irish 2,000 Guineas : Flash of Steel

1987
Moyglare Stud Stakes : Flutter Away

1988
Irish 1,000 Guineas : Trusted Partner
Premio Parioli : Gay Burslem
Premio Roma: Welsh Guide

1989
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe : Carroll House
Irish Oaks : Alydaress
Irish Champion Stakes : Carroll House

1990
Belmont Stakes : Go and Go
King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes : Belmez
2000 Guineas : Tirol

1992
St James’s Palace : Brief Truce
Italian Derby : In a Tiff
Arak Pokal : Tel Quel

1993
English Derby : Commander In Chief
Melbourne Cup : Vintage Crop
Eclipse Stakes : Opera House
Irish St Leger : Vintage Crop
Arak Pokal : Monsun
Grosser Dallmayr Preis: Market Booster

1994
Irish Champion Stakes : Cezanne
Irish St Leger : Vintage Crop
National Stakes : Definite Article
King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes : King’s Theatre
St James’s Palace : Grand Lodge
Coronation Stake : Kissin Cousin

1995
Cheveley Park Stakes : Blue Duster
Italian Derby : Luso

1996
Irish Oaks : Dance Design
Gold Cup : Classic Cliche
Fillies’Mile : Reams of Verse
Arak Pokal : Luso

1997
Irish Champion Stakes : Pilsudski
2,000 Guineas : Entrepreneur
Racing Post Trophy : Saratoga Springs
Grand Critérium : Second Empire
Japan Cup : Pilsudski
Eclipse Stakes: Pilsudski
Champion Stakes: Pilsudski

1998
National Stakes : Mus-If
2,000 Guineas : King of Kings
The Oaks : Shahtoush
Sussex Stakes : Among Men
Fillies’Mile : Sunspangled
Prix Morny : Orpen

1999
Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-Lucien Barrière : Montjeu
Phoenix Stakes : Fasliyev
July Cup : Stravinsky
Nunthorpe Stakes : Stravinsky
Prix Morny : Fasliyev
Prix de la Salamandre: Giant’s Causeway
Grand Criterium: Ciro

2000
King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes : Montjeu
Tattersalls Gold Cup : Montjeu
St James’s Palace Stales : Giant’s Causeway
Sussex Stakes : Giant’s Causeway
Juddmonte International Stakes : Giant’s Causeway
Irish Champion Stakes : Giant’s Causeway
Phoenix Stakes : Minardi
Gold Cup : Kayf Tara
Prix Lupin : Ciro
Prix Vermeille : Volvoreta
Secretariat Stakes : Ciro
Middle Park Stakes : Minardi

2001
Dubaï Poule d’Essai des Pouliches :Rose Gipsy
Prix Morny : Johannesburg
English Derby : Galileo
Irish Derby : Galileo
King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes : Galileo
The Oaks: Imagine
July Cup : Mozart
Nunthorpe Stakes : Mozart
St Leger : Milan
Phoenix Stakes : Johannesburg
Middle Park Stakes: Johannesburg
Breeders’Cup Juvenile: Johannesburg
Moyglare Stud Stakes : Quarter Moon
Aga Khan National Stud Stakes : Hawk Wing
Grand Critérium: Rock of Gibraltar
Dewhurst Stakes: Rock of Gibraltar
Grand Criterium de Milan: Sholokhov

2002
Irish 2,000 Guineas : Rock of Gibraltar
St James’s Palace Stakes : Rock of Gibraltar
Sussex Stakes : Rock of Gibraltar
Prix du Moulin de Longchamp : Rock of Gibraltar
Coronation Stakes : Sophisticat
Irish Derby : High Chaparral
Eclipse Stakes : Hawk Wing
Poule d’Essai des Poulains : Landseer
Canadian International: Ballingarry
Gran Criterium: Spartacus
Gran Premio del Jockey Club e Coppa d'Oro: Black Sam Bellamy
Breeders' Cup Turf: High Chaparral
Criterium de Saint Cloud: Alberto Giacometti
Hong Kong Cup: Precision

2003
Lockinge Stakes: Hawk Wing
Tattersalls Gold Cup: Black Sam Bellamy
Irish 1,000 Guineas: Yesterday
Phoenix Stakes: One Cool Cat
Moyglare Stud Stakes: Necklace
Irish Champion Stakes: High Chaparral
National Stakes: One Cool Cat
Breeders' Cup Turf: High Chaparral

2004
St James Palace, Azamour
Irish Champion Stakes, Azamour
Prix de la Foret: Somnus

2005
Prince of Wales Stakes: Azamour
King George & QE II Stakes|: Azamour
Sussex Stakes: Proclamation
Juddmonte International Stakes : Electrocutionist
Golden Jubilee: Cape of Good Hope
Irish 1,000 Guineas : Saoire
Cheveley Park: Donna Blini

Main Details
  • Champion Apprentice, 1978
  • Won over £4m in prize money in Europe in 2000.
  • Won over £6m in prize money in Europe in 2001.
  • Best Horses ridden: Hawk Wing, High Chaparral, Carroll House, Montjeu, Giant's Causeway, Galileo, Johannesburg, Rock of Gibraltar
  • Major Races won: Epsom Derby (2), Irish Derby (2), Belmont Stakes, Arc (2), 2,000 Guineas (2), Melbourne Cup, St.James's Palace Stakes (5), Eclipse (3), King George (4), Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Breeders' Cup Turf (2)
  • Career Winners (Ireland):
  • 1983--54
  • 1988--113....1st
  • 1989--112....1st
  • 1993--115....1st
  • 1994--84....1st
  • 1995--72....3rd
  • 1996--67....3rd
  • 1997--55....4th
  • 1998--63....2nd
  • 1999--92....1st
  • 2000--66....2nd
  • 2001--78....2nd
  • 2002--79....1st
  • 2003--103....1st (13th Championship)
  • 2004--49....5th
  • 2005--41....+ 23 in UK

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