Robbie McNamara will have his first rides as a professional jockey tomorrow after making the bold move to leave the amateur ranks.
A two-time Cheltenham Festival winning jockey back in March, McNamara was widely recognised as one of the best amateur riders in the sport but despite being taller and heavier than ideal for a professional jump jockey, he has opted to make the brave switch in a bid to get more rides during the week which in turn he is hoping will keep his weight in check.
McNamara said: "My licence came through on Thursday, so I'm a professional as of now and I'm really looking forward to it.
"It's something I've wanted to do for the last few years, but my weight wasn't really allowing me to do it and I had plenty of good bumper horses to ride.
"The weight has settled down now, though, so hopefully I'll get going over hurdles and fences.
"I think I'll have my first couple of rides as a professional on Saturday.
"As an amateur I never really had a main trainer to ride for, apart from Dermot Weld, but I've ridden winners for 50 different trainers.
"I've plenty of contacts built up over the years, so hopefully I'll get plenty of rides.
"I obviously won't be able to ride in Irish bumpers any more, but I've been doing that for long enough and it's time for a change."
McNamara's first ride as a professional will be on the Tom Cooper-trained Hesbeengoodtome at Gowran.