So here ends another memorable jump season, dominated like no other by one AP McCoy from the very moment he booted Mr Mole home to win at Newbury that February Saturday, and then announced the bombshell that he was retiring to spend more time with his wonderful family.
This job simply doesn’t get any better than in the height of the jumps season. I cannot speak too highly of the time and trouble the likes of Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson, Willie Mullins and David Pipe take to help- and likewise all the jockeys on both sides of the Irish Sea, but here are a few Vince mention in despatches for personal highlights:-
HORSE OF THE SEASON : Vautour- for his extraordinary demolition job on a class field in the JLT Chase at Cheltenham.
RIDE OF THE SEASON; Gavin Sheehan showing why trainer Warren Greatrex was so right to employ him with a superb front running effort as Cole Harden won the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
RISING STAR : Young Irish Conditional Johnny Burke, now retained by the Potts Partnership as a teenager. Intelligent, great horseman and he has a good work ethic. Made his mark already and as articulate as they come.
ONE TO NOTE; Youngster David Mullins. At last the legendary Mullins family, umpteen of whom rode as ‘Mr’ with various degrees of competence have a Conditional Jockey to go to war with the best- next season. He starred with success at Aintree earlier this month.
CONVERSATION I WISH I HAD HEARD; Jockey David Casey, one of the best, walked past me on his way to explain to his wife how he’d got beat on Clondaw Warrior, a horse she part owns!
AND FINALLY.. I won’t name the jockey who was good enough to agree to do a Radio Interview and emerged as promised clad only in a towel which he was holding together. Sadly for him three senior jockeys, one of whom is a well known prankster just happened to be passing, and in mid sentence…
The new season is just days away and the search for a new Champion Jockey will begin.
By Mike Vince