After Flanking Manoeuver had made it a treble for his charges at Downpatrick on the day, Noel Meade confirmed that leading amateur rider Finny Maguire would have first call on the Castletown man’s Bumper horses for the forthcoming National Hunt season which is just ratcheting up pace.
Farceur Du Large and Beacon Edge were the other Tu Va victors in Co Down today – all three in the silks of Gigginstown House Stud – and after the closing contest, the winning trainer confirmed one of sport’s worst kept secrets when admitting that he was “Very happy” to have acquired to have acquired the services of the young rider who was as keen to work with the seven-time Champion Trainer as was the case the other way around.
Maguire is, of course, the son of Adrian, the former leading jockey and then trainer from Kilmessan, and Sabrina, nee Winters, whose brother Mick is a great trainer in his own right and one of the great characters in racing, though Finny had already carved out a burgeoning reptuation in the plate in his own right.
That has already led to his skills being called upon by luminaries of the game such as Dermot Weld and Jessica Harrington. Indeed, I think his first success for the former was in the iconic maroon and white silks of Sheikh Mohammad.
His stock has arguably been enhanced in the early stages of his link up with the affable Meade, courtesy of victories on He’s A Hardy Bloke and the French bred in today’s finale and, with the trainer heading towards his fifth decade in the business definitely experiencing a resurgence in the last year or so.
While the rider will surely be mindful of some of the names in whose sizable footprints he is folowing, Gordon Elliott, ‘Slippers’ Madden, the recently retired Mark O’Hare and, the greatest of them all, Nina Carberry, the young rider and my racing hero are sure to be a combination worth following in the weeks and months ahead.