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Bryan Cooper celebrates winning the Champion Chase on Roi Du Mee Down Royal Pic: Patrick McCann 02.11.2013

Bryan Cooper: odds-on favourite to replace Davy Russell

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Cooper looking set
for O'Leary call-up

BRYAN COOPER looks increasingly likely to be appointed number-one jockey to Gigginstown House Stud although boss Michael O'Leary on Wednesday night insisted that no decision had been made as to who will succeed Davy Russell in the position.

O'Leary said: "No one has been approached or offered the job yet. We want to let the dust settle today first. We're not in any rush and don't expect to fix anything until next week at the earliest."

Cooper was immediately installed as odds-on favourite for the job when news of the termination of Russell's agreement with Gigginstown broke on Tuesday evening and although he refused to comment on the situation on Wednesday, the 21-year-old appears poised to land the coveted position with O'Leary's County Westmeath-based operation who last season won the Irish owners championship for the second time.

At Fairyhouse on Wednesday, where Cooper rode a double for him, Dessie Hughes appeared resigned to the fact that he is about to lose Cooper as his stable jockey.

Hughes said: "It will be a big blow to me. Bryan has been with me for four years and he's really matured in that time. I obviously wish him all the best and I hope it goes well for him. Hopefully he will continue to ride for me whenever he can."

Hughes is one of Gigginstown's large team of trainers and the first of Cooper's victories at Fairyhouse on Wednesday was achieved in the famous maroon and white colours on Lieutenant Colonel, who landed the two-mile maiden hurdle by 14 lengths.

Over at Tramore, on his final day as number-one rider to Gigginstown, Russell had three rides for the owners and finished second on both Roi Du Mee and Enjoy Responsibly.

Read more in Thursday's Racing Post newspaper - or download the iPad edition from 8pm on Wednesday

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