Mrs John Harrington

Also Known As Jessica Harrington

Jessica Harrington could well be the biggest name in racing that never has her name on a racecard, as she is always referred to as Mrs John Harrington. But make no mistake, the Irish handler is one of the very best, having an outstanding career, mainly with national hunt runners.

That’s not to say flat success hasn’t been there. She’s won at Group One level, including at Royal Ascot and in Irish Classics.

Harrington began her time with horses as a three-day event rider for Ireland and would compete for them in the Olympics before focusing on training racehorses afterwards. Superstars such as Moscow Flyer, Sizing John, Jezki, and plenty more have passed through the Harrington yard over the years, making her a big name in racing, both in Ireland and the UK.

Despite all of that success, she would have to wait until 2019 for her first Grand National runner, and it was almost a fairytale start. Magic Of Light was the horse in question, a mare, which we don’t see too many of in the Grand National, and she would finish second behind Tiger Roll on her first Grand National appearance.

Mrs John Harrington Grand National Wins

Mrs John Harrington has never trained a horse that has won the Grand National.

Their best finish to date was in 2019 with Magic of Light ridden by Paddy Kennedy who came 2nd.

Full Results

Year Horse Result Prize Money Jockey
2023 Lifetime Ambition Fence 9 - Brought Down - Sean O’Keeffe
2021 Jett 8 £15,000 Mr Sam Waley-Cohen
2021 Magic of Light Fence 4 - Unseated Rider - Robbie Power
2019 Magic of Light 2 £200,000 Paddy Kennedy

Winner of Three Out Of Four Cheltenham Championship Races

If you want to measure just how good a trainer is at the top level, then you need to look towards the Cheltenham Festival. Overall, Jessica Harrington has an excellent record at the meeting, given that she doesn’t have a huge string of horses, and in the very best races, she’s done great.

There are four Championship races at the festival, the biggest four of the week, and she has won three of them, probably the three races that most people would put as the biggest three of the meeting.

Moscow Flyer would hit the headlines with two wins in the Champion Chase in 2003 and 2005. Then after many more years, Jezki would win the Champion Hurdle for Harrington in 2014. Finally, the big one was landed, as Sizing John won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2017. The one that has so far eluded Harrington is the Stayers Hurdle, one she would no doubt love to win before retiring.

The first big Cheltenham winner for Harrington, Moscow Flyer, will go down as one of the sport’s greats, winning multiple times at Grade One level in the UK and Ireland and being the horse that really gave Harrington’s career the push forward it needed.