From Rugby to Racing
Rob Kearney, former British and Irish Lions star and Irish Six Nations hero, has transitioned from the rugby field to the racecourse with his new career as a racehorse owner. Since purchasing his horse, The Very Man, in December 2021, Kearney has been making a fortune.
A Money-Making Machine
The Very Man, a nine-year-old gelding, has been a consistent earner for Kearney. In August, he won the Shergar Cup handicap, securing a £39,344 payday. Prior to that, he finished second in the Connacht Hotel Handicap at Galway, earning an additional £18,000. And at last year's Punchestown Festival, he came second in a handicap hurdle, adding £16,300 to his winnings.
Next Up: Mega Money Races
The Very Man's next challenge will likely be the Irish Cesarewitch on September 24 at the Curragh. A victory there would be worth nearly £300,000 and could lead to a shot at the British equivalent on October 14.
Love for Racing
Kearney, who grew up on a farm and has racing in his blood, explained his move into the sport. He says, "It's been great and it's given us really good days out." Kearney also mentioned his interest in starting a syndicate with friends but ended up being the sole owner of The Very Man.
Teaming Up with Jessica Harrington
The Very Man is currently in training with Jessica Harrington, an influential figure in Irish racing and cancer survivor. The horse's co-owner, Dan Kiely, spoke highly of their journey so far and the thrill that Kearney is getting from being involved in racing. Kiely predicts that more sports stars will follow in their footsteps and enter the world of horse ownership.
A Trend Among Sports Stars
Kearney joins the likes of Kevin Doyle, former Reading footballer turned racehorse breeder, and England cricket star Jonny Bairstow, who recently won £93,000 at York. With the potential for big earnings, it's expected that more sports stars will be drawn to racing in the coming years.