herald

Thursday 29 September 2016

New Chapter for McNamara

Former jockey will have his first runners as a trainer

Robbie McNamara will have his first runners as a trainer. Photo: Racing Post
Robbie McNamara will have his first runners as a trainer. Photo: Racing Post

Cheltenham Festival winning jockey Robbie McNamara will begin the next chapter of his career when he has his first runners as a trainer at Cork tomorrow evening.

McNamara's riding career was prematurely ended following a fall at Wexford in April of last year but having obtained his trainer's licence in May, McNamara is looking forward to his new career.

The Limerick native has been supported by Dr Ronan Lambe, who he rode his Cheltenham Festival winners for, and is busy with a mix of both Flat and National Hunt horses for the summer.

McNamara is looking forward to having four runners at Mallow tomorrow and is hoping to make his mark immediately.

"I'll have three runners in maiden hurdles and one in the concluding bumper," McNamara revealed.

"Chadic came from Mark Johnston's yard.

"He is a big horse and has his unique quirkiness about him but is a sweet horse all the same. He's a great jumper and I would be disappointed if he's not involved at the business end.

"Flush Or Bust was placed in a bumper for his previous trainer Phillip Hobbs and I believe he is a 120-rated horse while I think most of his opposition are closer to the 110 mark. He has a definite chance," admitted the trainer.

"Call Vinnie is stepping up to three miles and will hopefully get good ground. Both will play into his strengths and Rathcannon is working well and shows ability on the gallops but has had a long training season so I'm just hoping that doesn't take its toll."

The ambitious 27-year-old has targeted this Cork meeting for some time and is hopeful that he can get an early winner to his name.

"Since I pursued training full-time over three-and-a-half months ago, this Friday evening's meeting at Cork has always been the plan. If I can't get it right at Cork on Friday, I'll never be able to get it right. I don't have any particular long-term goals, Cork on Friday is the main aim and has been for a while. I've a great team and facilities."

Meanwhile, Alice Springs will represent Aidan O'Brien in the Group One Falmouth Stakes tomorrow.

Placed third in the English 1,000 Guineas, Alice Springs will face the formidable task of taking on Royal Ascot winner Usherette.

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