Dylan Browne McMonagle sweeps first Group One victory at the Curragh


The teenager enjoyed his second win of the week with Joseph Patrick O'Brien's Al Riffa

Sunday, September 11, 2022
Al Riffa/Dylan Browne McMonagle

Teenage jockey Dylan Browne McMonagle claimed a first Group One victory, as Al Riffa powered to glory in the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stake, writes Ben Hart.

The 9-1 mare settled at the rear before sprinting past the rest of the field to take a fine win for trainer Joseph Patrick O’Brien – who upstaged his father, Aidan.

It was a special race for champion apprentice jockey McMonagle, who claimed a second victory of the week after a win in the Mallow Handicap on Wednesday.

Hans Anderson and Aesop’s Fables led in the early stages at the Curragh, as the field settled into a spearhead formation at the outset.

But Aidan O’Brien’s pair faded as the seven-furlong race wore on, and a swift turn of foot allowed Al Riffa and 19-year-old McMonagle to bound home.

“It’s a dream come true really, top class colt and he’s very exciting for the future,” said McMonagle.  

“It’s unbelievable, these are the days you want to be riding in those big races. Hopefully I get plenty of those races in the future.

“A massive training performance from Joseph and hats off to him for giving me the opportunity in these races, it doesn’t come round too often and when you get them you have to take the opportunity.

On Al Riffa, McMonagle added: “He’s a got a great temperament, takes it all in his stride, and I was very happy the whole way.

“When I gave him a little squeeze at halfway he latched onto the ride and I was always in control. When I got stuck into him on that ground, he sprinted clear of the boys and was only doing what he needed to. It’s a great performance and he’s very exciting for the future.

“He’s a big action, good massive stride. He’s only going to get better.”

It’s unbelievable, these are the days you want to be riding in those big races. Hopefully I get plenty of those races in the future.

- Dylan Browne McMonagle

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