ROBBIE McNamara became the third member of the renowned Croom, Co Limerick, racing family to taste Cheltenham Festival glory when partnering Silver Concorde to victory in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper this Wednesday.
McNamara produced a terrific ride on the Dermot Weld-trained 16/1 shot Silver Concorde to record a one and a half length win over favourite Shaneshill.
Robbie McNamara’s father Andrew trained Boreen Prince to win the Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 1985, while his brother Andrew Jnr partnered Newmill to victory in the 2006 running of the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Prestbury Park.
Robbie McNamara, who is 6’ 3” in height, said: “I am delighted, delighted altogether. I fancied him big time. A lot of people asked me about him beforehand and I said if he stays he will win because nothing travels better than him. I said the same coming down the hill. Barry Geraghty was upsides me on his mount and I said ‘if I stay I win.’
“I planned to be lying about fourth or fifth. I said I would ride it like every other bumper. I can’t go faster than the horse is able. We jumped off very fast. I sat in a little further back than I wanted to be. He settled lovely and travelled into the race down the back and picked up very well to the line.
“He is very good. He is different, not really a bumper horse. I believe he would win a listed race over a mile and a quarter. He has loads of pace, a very, very talented horse.
“It was very enjoyable. I was second on a horse of Noel Glynn’s two years ago. I don’t think I would have been as happy if it wasn’t for Mr Weld (Dermot Weld) and Dr Lame (Dr Ronan Lambe, owner). If it was for someone else it would have been sweet, but riding this winner for them made it all the sweeter. They have been very loyal to me. My whole career has been because of them. I am delighted to be able to ride a winner for them.”
Twenty five-year-old Robbie McNamara is a cousin of JT McNamara, the Limerick jockey who suffered life-changing injuries in a fall at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival