Irish Racing Greats
LEADING JUMP JOCKEYS DOWN THE YEARS _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

BOBBY BEASLEY
Born: 1935-2008

ONE OF the most naturally talented jump jockeys Ireland produced in the post-war era, the London-born Bobby (Henry Robert) Beasley is one of a select few to ride the winners of the Grand National (Nicolaus Silver 1961), the Cheltenham Gold Cup (Roddy Owen 1959) and the Champion Hurdle (Another Flash 1960).
 Rode with great success in Britain for Fred Rimell and Fred Winter and was also asscociated with an Irish training legend, Paddy Sleator. 
 Problems with alcohol forced him into early retirement in 1969, but he returned to the saddle in 1971 and partnered Captain Christy (whom he also rode to success in the Irish Sweeps Hurdle and Scottish Champion Hurdle) to Gold Cup glory in 1974, defying the old saying that they never come back.

 His Grand National win kept up a remarkable family tradition as his grandfather, Harry, won it once (Come Away 1891) and his uncle, Tommy, three times (Empress 1880, Woodbrook 1881 and Frigate 1889). Arthur Thompson, his late father-in-law, also won the great race twice (Sheila's Cottage 1948 and Teal 1952).
 He was Irish champion jump jockey in 1958, 1959 and 1960 as well as amateur champion in 1953. His father, Harry, was an outstanding Flat jockey and rode the winner of two Irish Derbys. He died January 9th, 2008, aged 72.  


 
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FRANK BERRY
Born: 1950

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FRANK Berry was champion jump jockey in Ireland 10 times and won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Glencaraig Lady in 1972. A stylish rider, he won virtually all the major chases and hurdles in Ireland in the 70s and 80s (mainly riding for Francis Flood) and was associated with such good horses as Bobsline (1984 Arkle Trophy Chase winner), Barrow Line, Bannow Rambler (1975 Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner), Antarctic Bay (1985 Royal and SunAlliance Chase) and Drumgora (1981 Champion Chase winner). Doubleuagain (1982) was his other Cheltenham Festival winner, giving him a grand total of 6. 
  As an apprentice, he rode Giolla Mear to win the 1968 Irish St Leger. Launched his training career in 1990 after he was forced into early retirement through injury. Achieved his biggest training success when Laura's Beau won the 1992 Midlands National at Uttoxeter but quit at the end of 2000 to become racing manager to legendary National Hunt owner JP McManus. His son, Fran, looks an exciting prospect riding on the Flat.

  
 
 
 
 


 
 
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AUBREY BRABAZON
Born: 1920-1996

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ONE OF Ireland's most accomplished jockeys, Aubrey Brabazon won three Cheltenham Gold Cups on Cottage Rake and two Champion Hurdles on Hatton's Grace for Vincent O'Brien between 1948 and 1950. Cottage Rake also gave him a big-race success in the King George V1 Chase (1948).
 Rode his first winner at the Phoenix Park on Queen Christina (1935) and was Irish champion jockey in 1945 and 1949. Like his great rival Martin Molony, he was equally effective on the Flat and won an Irish Oaks in 1948 on Masaka and an Irish 2,000 Guineas on Mighty Ocean in 1950.
 His achievement in 1950 of riding a unique treble (Cheltenham Gold Cup on Cottage Rake; Champion Hurdle on Hatton's Grace and an Irish 2,000 Guineas on Mighty Ocean) is unlikely to be matched.
 Went on to train after his retirement in 1960 (taking over from his father at Rangers Lodge on the Curragh) but never quite matched his riding exploits. 
 "Over the years I have seen many riders but in my opinion, very few finer or more stylish than Aubrey" - Vincent O'Brien's words says it all. 
 Was a founding member of the Irish Jockeys' Association in 1950 and was also president of the County Kildare Motor Club, a sport he had a passionate interest in.
 His father, Cecil, was an accomplished trainer (after riding as an amateur for 14 years), landing two Irish Grand Nationals with Pontet (1937) and Jack Chaucer (1940) as well as a Galway Plate with St Martin (1941) and a Irish St Leger with Beau Sabreur (1948).


 
 
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T P BURNS
Born: 1924

Frank Berry

WAS AN accomplished National Hunt jockey as well as a top-class Flat jockey (rode six Irish Classic winners as well as one British, see leading jockeys in Flat section). His record over hurdles was formidable. Between 1955 and 1959, he rode the winners of seven divisions of Cheltenham's Gloucestershire Hurdle (now Supreme Novices' Hurdle). It speaks volumes that the greatest trainer of all-time, Vincent O'Brien, entrusted him to land some of the greatest gambling coups ever seen at the Cheltenham Festival. He was later to become assistant trainer to O'Brien and Dermot Weld.
 

 

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PAUL CARBERRY
Born: 1974

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THE SON of one of Ireland's finest jockeys, Tommy, and the maternal grandson of a training legend, Dan Moore, Paul Carberry was born to be a jump jockey. Has established himself as a top-flight rider over fences after wins in the Aintree (1999) and Irish (1998) Grand Nationals on his father's Bobbyjo. 
 His three-year association with Robert Ogden-owned horses in England produced numerous winners. However, he returned home to build up an excellent partnership with Noel Meade, providing the Navan trainer with his first Cheltenham Festival winner on Sausalito Bay (2000 Supreme Novices' Hurdle). Two more were to follow on Nicanor (2006 SunAlliance Hurdle) and Go Native (2009 Supreme Novices' Hurdle). 
Other high points were several Grade One victories on top-class performers Harchibald, Limestone Lad and Beef Or Salmon.
 Was apprentice champion on the Flat in 1993 and lifted his first jumps title in 2001-2002, riding 110 winners, and his second the following season (108 winners). An excellent judge of pace and an accomplished stylist, he has ridden 11 (grand total of 13) other Cheltenham Festival winners - Rhythm Section (1993), Unguided Missile (1998) Looks Like Trouble (1999); Frenchman's Creek (2002); Fota Island (2005); Oulart (2005); Hairy Molly (2006), Crack Away Jack (2008), Bellvano (2012), Solwhit (2013) and Very Wood (2014).


 
 
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NINA CARBERRY
Born: Co Meath, 1984

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NINA CARBERRY has made a rapid rise over a short period of time from promising young amateur to being hailed as perhaps the best female rider in jump racing history. Became the first female rider to win the Irish Grand National since Ann Ferris on Bentom Boy in 1984 when Organisedconfusion, trained by her uncle Arthur Moore, romped home in the 2011 Easter Monday Fairyhouse marathon, joining brothers Paul and Philip in winning the prestigious handicap and completing a clean sweep for the Carberry clan as father Tommy had won the race as a jockey and trainer.
 Her father (see below) is one of the giants of the jumping game himself and there was no prouder man than him when Nina became the first woman since Gee Armytage to ride a winner at the Cheltenham Festival against professional jockeys for 18 years when partnering Dabiroun to victory in the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices' Handicap Hurdle in 2005.
 She followed that with another festival victory on Heads Onthe Ground (pictured left returning in triumph) in the BGC Cross Country Chase in 2007. Garde Champetre's win in the Cross Country Chase in 2008 and 2009 makes her the most successful female jockey in festival history with 4 triumphs.
 She also became one of an elite band of just four female riders to complete the course in the history of the Grand National, finishing ninth on Forest Gunner behind Numbersixvalverde in the world's most famous chase in 2006.
 Father and daughter teamed up for a famous win with Penny Hall in the 2006 Cork Grand National while her association with Navan trainer Noel Meade has yielded many winners and has seen her lift two Leading Qualified Riders' titles in the 2006-2007 (30 winners) and 2005-2006 (38 winners) seasons.
 Brothers Paul (see above) and Philip are also accomplished jump jockeys. 


 
 
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TOMMY CARBERRY
Born: Co Dublin, 1941

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ONE OF the outstanding National Hunt jockeys of the 60s and 70s, Tommy Carberry won two Cheltenham Gold Cups and a Grand National on L'Escargot and also won the Gold Cup on Ten Up. Was deprived of a record-equalling fourth Gold Cup when Tied Cottage was disqualified after the 1980 running of the race. Rode his first winner (Tripacer) over jumps at the 1962 Cheltenham Festival meeting, where his total number of victories is 16.
 The former five-times champion national hunt jockey enjoyed two Irish Grand National wins on Brown Lad (1975-76), trained by Jim Dreaper, who along with the legendary Dan Moore (Carberry's father-in-law) provided many of his big-race triumphs.
 Proof of his all round talents - he was a champion apprentice in 1959 - came in 1979 when he partnered the Vincent O'Brien-trained Fordham to victory in the Seamus McGrath Memorial Stakes (now Irish Champion Stakes). 
 Was forced to hang up his boots in 1982 after a fall from a two-year-old at Listowel.
 Trained Bobbyjo to win both the Irish Grand National (1998) and the Aintree Grand National (1999), partnered by his equally talented son, Paul, on both occasions.
 His daughter, Nina, became the first woman to defeat the professionals at the Cheltenham Festival aboard Dabiroun (2005 Fred Winter Novices' Handicap Hurdle) since Gee Armytage (1987) before following up on Heads Onthe Ground two years later in the Sporting Index Cross-Country Chase. And father and daughter teamed up to land the 2006 Cork Grand National with Penny Hall.
 Another son, Philip, won the 2006 Irish Grand National on Point Barrow and the 2007 Champion Hurdle on Sublimity, while Nina (Forest Gunner) and Paul (Sir OJ) became the first sister and brother to ride in the Aintree Grand National in 2006.


CARBERRY'S 16 FESTIVAL WINNERS
 3 Gold Cups (1970, 71 L'Escargot and 1975 Ten Up)
 2 Arkle Trophy Chases (1980 Anaglogs Daughter and 1982 The Brockshee)
 2 Stayers' Hurdles (1975 Brown Lad and 1977 Town Ship)
 2 Cathcart Chases (1966 Flying Wild and 1973 Inkslinger)
 2 Royal & SunAlliance Chases (1974 Ten Up and 1976 Tied Cottage)
 2 Supreme Novices' Hurdles (1962 Tripacer and 1968 L'Escargot)
 Queen Mother Chase (1973 Inkslinger)
 Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle (1963 Bahrain)
 Triumph Hurdle (1977 Meladon).


 
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TOMMY CARMODY
Born: Limerick 1956

Paul Carberry

ONE OF the great jump jockeys of the modern era, Tommy Carmody launched his National Hunt career with a flourish, winning on his first two rides - Mr Kildare (Sun Alliance Novices' Hurdle) and Hilly Way (Champion Chase) - at the Cheltenham Festival in 1978. 
 Those successes led to a job with the powerful Dickinson stable in England, which yielded many big-race winners including three King George V1 Chases on Gay Spartan and Silver Buck (twice). He twice finished runner-up in the British jockeys' championship, to John Francome (1978-79) and Jonjo O'Neill (1979-80).
 The three-time apprentice champion - he failed by only a short head to win the 1977 Irish Oaks on Sassabunda - returned home in 1981 and was champion jumps jockey in 1985 and 1988, riding some notable winners for trainer John Mulhern, including two successive wins in the Stayers' Hurdle on Galmoy (1988 and 87).
 He retired on medical advice in 1992 after a crashing fall at Naas with 7 Cheltenham Festival winners to his credit, including two on Buck House (1986 Champion Chase and 1983 Supreme Novices' Hurdle) and a Supreme Novices' Hurdle on Slaney Idol (1980). Trains at Pollardstown Stables at the Curragh and enjoyed his biggest win on the Flat when Royal Diamond landed the 2012 Irish St Leger.

 

 

 

 


 
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BOBBY COONAN
Born: 1939-2007

SEVEN-TIME Irish Champion jump jockey Bobby Coonan had his biggest win in the 1974 King George V1 Chase on Captain Christy. Was associated mainly with the great Paddy Sleator, succeeding Bobby Beasley as first jockey at Grange Con. He rode Sweet Dreams to win the Irish Grand National (1969) as well as three Galway Plates (all for Sleator) on Royal Day (twice) and O'Leary. Ballywilliam Boy gave his sole victory at the Cheltenham Festival in the Gloucestershire Hurdle (now the Supreme Novices' Hurdle) in 1970. Prominent King was his last big-race success in the Erin Foods Champion Hurdle (now AIG Europe Champion Hurdle) in 1978. A few months later he retired after a horrific fall at Killarney. Went on to train but enjoyed limited success. He died on March 2nd, 2007. His uncle, Peter Coonan, bred the 1964 Grand National winner Team Spirit.

 
 
 
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Mr BUNNY COX
Born: 1924-2006

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ONE OF Ireland's all-time great amateur riders (champion in 1944, 1945, 1952, 1956 and again in 1958 when he shared the title with Francis Flood), Bunny Cox (Mr J R) was twice second in the Champion Hurdle on Quita Que and won both the Champion Chase and Cathcart Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on the same horse. Other Festival winners came in the National Hunt Chase on Dan Moore's Pontage and in the same race on subsequent Grand National winner Quare Times, trained by Vincent O'Brien. He had few peers at Punchestown where he had a tremendous strike-rate. Took over his father's (John) licence in 1970 and enjoyed considerable success with such useful performers as Highway View, Fort Fox, Fortune Seeker, Sicilian Answer and Atone. His wife, Sally, is a daughter of the late Aubrey Brabazon, another legendary National Hunt jockey of the 20th century. He died in January 2006, a month short of his 82nd birthday. His daughter, Suzanne, was a former point-to-point champion before turning her attentions to training.


 
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BARRY GERAGHTY
Born: 1979

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BARRY Geraghty has racing in his blood. His father "Tucker" was an amateur rider while two of his five siblings, brothers Ross (winner of the 2002 Irish Grand National on The Bunny Boiler) and Norman, are also jockeys. Amateur sister Jill rode her first winner (What Odds, trained by her father) over fences at the 2008 Fairyhouse Easter Festival meeting.
 After a background in pony racing, he began his apprenticeship with Noel Meade and had his first winner aboard Stagalier at Down Royal on January 29th, 1997. Since then his career has gone from strength to strength.
 He was Irish champion in 1999/2000 (with 84 winners) and bagged his second title in the 2003-2004 season with his first century of winners (110), the same year he became the first jockey to be named RTE's Sports Personality of the year. His victory at the 2004 Cheltenham Festival on Iris's Gift  (Stayers') was one of many highlights of a tremendous campaign. 
 Rode his first winner at the mecca of national hunt racing on Moscow Flyer (2002 Arkle Trophy Chase), the horse that was to launch his career onto a new level. Went on to land the Queen Mother Champion Chase on the same horse in 2003 to cap a remarkable Festival where he finished top jockey with five winners (equalling the record held jointly by Fred Winter, Jamie Osborne and Tony McCoy which was subsequently broken by Ruby Walsh with 7 winners in 2009). His other wins were on Youlneverwalkalone (National Hunt Handicap Chase), Inching Closer (Pertemps), Spectroscope (Triumph), Spirit Leader (County).
 Better was to follow less than a month later when he rode Monty's Pass to success in the Aintree Grand National.
 Brought his Cheltenham Festival tally to 9 with a remarkable double on Kicking King (whom he had earlier partnered to a King George V1 Chase success) in the Gold Cup and Moscow Flyer in the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2005. Completed back-to-back wins in the King George on Kicking King in 2005.
 Twenty two festival winners followed on Star De Mohaison (2006 SunAlliance Chase), Sky's The Limit (2006 Coral Cup), Cork All Star (2007 Bumper), Finger Onthe Pulse (2008 Jewson Novices' Handicap Chase), Forpadydeplasterer (2009 Arkle Chase), Punjabi (2009 Champion Hurdle), Zaynar (2009 Triumph Hurdle); Big Zeb (2010 Queen Mother Champion Chase); Spirit River (2010 Coral Cup); Soldatino (2010 Triumph Hurdle), Bobs Worth (2011 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle), Sprinter Sacre (2012 Arkle Chase), Simonsig (2012 Neptune Novices' Hurdle), Bobs Worth (2012 RSA Chase), Finian's Rainbow (2012 Queen Mother Champion Chase),  Riverside Theatre (2012 Ryanair Chase), Simonsig (2013 Arkle Chase), Sprinter Sacre (2013 Queen Mother Champion Chase), Bobs Worth (2013 Gold Cup), Jezki (2014 Stan James Champion Hurdle), O'Faolains Boy (2014 RSA Chase)
 and More Of That (2014 Ladrokes World Hurdle) - making a grand total of 31 festival winners. Finished top jockey at the festival in 2012 with 5 winners and his win on Sprinter Sacre in the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2013 gave him 5 wins in the championship event, equalling Pat Taaffe's record.
 Took over from Mick Fitzgerald as Nicky Henderson's first jockey in the summer of 2008 and his victory on Henderson's Punjabi in the Champion Hurdle saw him become the only jockey currently riding to have won the big four championship races at Cheltenham (Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, World Hurdle and Gold Cup). Ruby Walsh joined him on that roll of honour list when Hurricane Fly took the 2011 running of the Champion Hurdle.
 Joined an elite band of jockeys to have ridden 1,000 winners when scoring on Duc De Regniere at Kempton in November, 2009. Other notable Grade 1 successes in England include 2 Tingle Creeks (Moscow Flyer, 2003 and 2004), Fighting Fifth Hurdle (Punjabi, 2008), Long Walk Hurdle (Punchestowns, 2008), 2 Sefton Novices' Hurdle (Sackville, 2000, and Iris's Gift,2003) and 2 Melling Chases (Moscow Fler, 2004 and 2005).

GERAGHTY'S 31 CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL WINNERS
2002: Moscow Flyer (Arkle Chase)
2003: Youlneverwalkalone (National Hunt Handicap Chase)
2003: Inching Closer (Pertemps Hurdle)
2003: Moscow Flyer (Queen Mother Champion Chase)
2003: Spectroscope (Triumph Hurdle)
2003: Spirit Leader (County Hurdle)
2004: Iris's Gift (Stayers' Hurdle)
2005: Moscow Flyer (Queen Mother Champion Chase)
2005: Kicking King (Gold Cup)
2006: Star De Mohaison (SunAlliance Chase)
2006: Sky's The Limit (Coral Cup)
2007: Cork All Star (Bumper)
2008: Finger Onthe Pulse (Jewson Novices' Chase)
2009: Forpadydeplasterer (Arkle Chase)
2009: Punjabi (Champion Hurdle)
2009: Zaynar (Triumph Hurdle)
2010: Big Zeb (Queen Mother Champion Chase)
2010: Spirit River (Coral Cup)
2010: Soldatino (Triumph Hurdle)
2011: Bobs Worth (Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle)
2012: Sprinter Sacre (Arkle Chase)
2012: Simonsig (Neptune Novices' Hurdle)
2012: Bobs Worth (RSA Chase)
2012: Finian's Rainbow (Queen Mother Champion Chase)
2012: Riverside Theatre (Ryanair Chase)
2013: Simonsig (Arkle Chase)
2013: Sprinter Sacre (Queen Mother Champion Chase)
2013: Bobs Worth (Gold Cup)
2014: Jezki (Champion Hurdle)
2014: O'Faolains Boy (RSA Chase)
2014: More Of That (Ladbrokes World Hurdle)

  

 Irish Racing Greats 2005

 

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