I'm a student who took a week off to win at the Cheltenham Festival – now I've won at Punchestown too | The Sun

MIXING school and riding Grade 1 winners?

That's light work for the rising star that is John Gleeson, who hails from a prestigious racing family.

A Dream To Share has been a real family success, having been a homebred for the Gleeson family.

Owned by his father Brian Gleeson, a well-known racing pundit, he won a Grade 2 in John's mother's colours at Leopardstown before being sold to racing powerhouse JP McManus.

Gleeson banked €59,000 for that success and A Dream To Share made a successful start in JP's colours when landing the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.

That pocketed Gleeson a further £45,000 and gave him his first Festival winner, which is no mean feat given his age.

Back on home soil at Punchestown, A Dream To Share justified odds of 8-11 to remain unbeaten.

And it was another peach from Gleeson, riding with the finesse of a seasoned veteran.

Gleeson said: "He's a very classy horse, I thought he was really tough today and I'm very lucky to be riding him.

"We got racing very early and he really had to dig deep – his class really came out today."

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Most people his age would find the demands of school more than enough.

But Gleeson manages to find time to ride out every morning before heading to school to study for his Leaving Cert.

He joked: "It's surreal really but I've got to get my head back in the textbooks.

"I have to really juggle the two but I'm enjoying it."

Gleeson has ridden 20 winners in his career to date, with earnings of nearly £320,000.

A Dream To Share is 7-2 with Betfair to win next year's Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.


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