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NEXT GEN: Dara McGill

Name:  Dara McGill
Age: 18
From:  Maghera, Co. Derry

Dara McGill was one of three riders to register their first career win at Moira on Saturday after taking the opening four-year-old maiden aboard Bold Reaction for handler Warren Ewing.

It was a dream start for McGill who only recently joined the Ewing team during the summer.

How did you get started with horses?

My Dad always had a few point-to-pointers around the place and then we a got a few ponies and it all started from there really.

I then started pony racing when I was about 12, I raced mainly on the Northern circuit.

I also used to ride out for Noel Kelly a bit when I was younger.

What did you think of pony racing?

I thought it was very good, gives you a really good grounding.  It’s where you learn how to race, learn how to judge the pace of a race and also learn how to ride a finish.

Where are you based at the moment?

I ride out for my Dad in the morning and then head on to Warren Ewing’s about 10 o’clock.  

I only just started going into Warrens in July when the horses came back in.

How did you come about working with Warren Ewing?

I used to go pony racing with his son Sam and Warren would have always been around.
When I came back from England I decided to give him a ring and I was riding out for him for a couple of days after Christmas.  He then he asked me to come in every day when the horses came back in.

You mentioned you were in England for a couple months, where abouts were you working?

When I left school I went to Olly Murphy’s for six months until I turned 17 and I then had to decide whether to stay or come home and go point-to-pointing.

It was a great experience, I was keen to found out how a big yard worked, it was also good to be riding out with so many good riders such as Aidan Coleman, Richard Johnson before he retired, Adrian Heskin, Gavin Sheehan and all those boys.

You obviously knew the horse quite well, were you confident of a big run?

Yea were confident enough, he had been working very well at home and we thought he would go close enough.

You must been delighted to get your first winner especially in a four-year-old maiden?

It was a very sweet, nice to get the first one out of the way. It was very decent of Warren to give me a chance and let me ride a four-year-old for him.

What are your ambitions for remainder of the season?

Just to try and ride as many winners as I can and keep improving all of the time.

I believe your brother Oran played plenty of football and played for Derry at one stage, would you have played much yourself?

We both would have played a lot of football and I still play with Glen Maghera.  I go training with them two or three nights a week.

I still get the opportunity to play in matches as they are usually on weeknights so it doesn’t interfere with point-to-pointing.

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