Bryan Cooper lands plum job of riding for owner Alan Potts in Britain

Former Gigginstown jockey will begin with Tizzard-trained duo at Ludlow on Wednesday

Bryan Cooper was let go by Gigginstown at the end of July. “They (Potts and Tizzard) have some fantastic horses. I can’t believe it to be honest.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Bryan Cooper was let go by Gigginstown at the end of July. “They (Potts and Tizzard) have some fantastic horses. I can’t believe it to be honest.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

 

The Cheltenham Gold Cup winning rider Bryan Cooper has a plum new job riding the British-trained horses of owner Alan Potts.

Cooper lost his position as No.1 jockey to Micheal O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud team at the end of July but the 25 year old Kerryman can again look forward to a winter campaign armed with top-flight ammunition.

One firm reckon it is odds-on about Cooper will ride a Grade One winner for Potts in the UK this season and go just 2-1 about him riding a Cheltenham festival winner for the English owner.

Among the expanded cross-channel string owned by Potts is Finian’s Oscar who could make his debut over fences at Chepstow on Saturday.

Cooper’s first rides under the new arrangement will come at Ludlow on Wednesday when teaming up with the Colin Tizzard trainer pair, Exxaro and Mick Thonic.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it and it’s a great opportunity. They (Potts and Tizzard) have some fantastic horses. I can’t believe it to be honest,” Cooper said on Tuesday.

Greatest success

Potts enjoyed his greatest success when the Jessica Harrington-trained Sizing John swept to Cheltenham Gold Cup glory in March. The horse also landed the Irish Gold Cup and the Punchestown Gold Cup last season.

Sizing John’s jockey Robbie Power had been travelling to Britain to ride the owner’s horses and is still the owner’s No.1 jockey in Ireland.

Colin Tizzard confirmed: “Bryan Cooper is going to ride the Alan Potts-owned horses in Britain and Robbie Power will ride the ones trained in Ireland. Bryan is a very good rider and Alan wanted continuity.”

In other news the Turf Club has confirmed no action has been taken over the incident at Killarney in July which left jockey Ana O’Brien with serious injuries.

The daughter of champion trainer Aidan O’Brien has been on the sidelines since her spill from the ill-fated Druids Cross who fell during a flat race. She is targeting a return to race riding in the New Year.

A Referrals Committee hearing concluded there was insufficient evidence to convict anyone involved in the race of a riding offence.

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