Friday, 28 July 2017

Bryan Cooper dropped as Gigginstown's top jockey, as rides shared with Davy Russell and Jack Kennedy

National Hunt giants Gigginstown have dropped Gold Cup winning jockey Bryan Cooper as top jockey in a riding reshuffle.

Cooper who partnered Don Cossack to Cheltenham Gold Cup glory in 2016, will now have to share the rides with the likes of Davy Russell and Jack Kennedy.

Cooper enjoyed two Festival success this year with Apple’s Jade in the Mares Hurdle, and Road To Respect in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate.

"There's been no parting company,” said Gigginstown Stud's manager, Eddie O'Leary.

“We'll still be using him a lot, he just won't have automatic first choice as of today.

"We'll still be using and supporting him, but he won't have first call on the horses, that's all."

Bryan Cooper and Don Cossack beat the likes of Djakadam, Don Poli and the fallen Cue Card to land the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup

The Gigginstown team earnt the top owner at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival, with Apple’s Jade, Tiger Roll, Road To Respect and Rock The World all tallying up to four wins.

Gigginstown jockey ranks remain exceptionally strong, with Davy Russell boasting a wealth of big race experience, most notably riding Lord Windermere to Gold Cup glory in 2014.

Meanwhile Jack Kennedy has built up a strong relationship with Gigginstown’s top handler, and Cheltenham’s top trainer, Gordon Elliott.

The teenager has ridden the likes of Death Duty and Outlander to Grade One glory, but is best known for his shock 50-1 Supreme victory aboard quirky Labaik.

"There are a lot of good riders out there,” he added.

"Be it Bryan or Sean Flanagan or Davy Russell or Jack Kennedy, we'll be using the best available."

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