Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Premier Information: Adrian Maguire - Career profile

Article reproduced courtesy of Racing Post.

ADRIAN MAGUIRE rode the winners of some of the biggest races in the jumps calendar and was among the best jockeys never to have been champion.

Born in County Meath on April 29, 1971, he was already a champion in pony racing and point-to-pointing in Ireland when he first sprung to prominence as an amateur riding the Martin Pipe-trained Omerta, on whom he looked every inch a professional with dashing rides to land both the Fulke Walwyn/Kim Muir Chase at Cheltenham and the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in the spring of 1991.

His talents were nurtured by Toby Balding, with whom he was champion conditional in 1991-92, and at that season's Cheltenham Festival he landed a dramatic win in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Balding's 25-1 chance Cool Ground, who beat The Fellow by a short head.

Despite missing four festivals in eight years through injury or bereavement, Maguire rode five more winners there, notably on Viking Flagship in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Mysilv in the Triumph Hurdle on successive days in 1994, both for David Nicholson, whom he joined from Balding.

That same season he won the King George VI Chase on Nicholson's Barton Bank and finished with 194 winners, just losing to Richard Dunwoody (197) in an epic title duel that went to the last day of the season.

His unseating from Barton Bank at the final fence with the 1994 King George VI Chase at his mercy was a career-low, but he won the race again in 2001 on the Willie Mullins-trained spare ride Florida Pearl, who was his last Grade 1 winner.

Maguire, an uncle to Grand National-winning jockey Jason Maguire, retired in October 2002, having broken his neck at Warwick that March in a fall on Luzcadao that doctors told him could have left him paralysed. He had ridden 1,024 winners over jumps in Britain and more than 59 in Ireland.

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