Coopers starting new racing dynasty of a different kind
Brightening your day with tales from beyond the turf
Sons and daughters usually follow fathers in forming British racing dynasties, but Daniel Cooper is taking a lead from his uncle, Andrew Cooper, Jockey Club Racecourses’ head of racing and clerk of the course at Epsom and Sandown.
Daniel, 24, who hails from Shropshire, where his father David worked for Henry Daly before becoming assistant trainer to Seamus Durack, has begun a two-year stint as trainee clerk of the course with JCR, after spending almost three years as event manager at Epsom racecourse.
“Dad gave me my knowledge of horsemanship but Andrew provided the inspiration to make my career as a clerk of the course,” says Daniel, who is initially based at Haydock but will travel Britain, including to tracks outside JCR, as part of his training.
Having graduated from Greenwich university in event management, Daniel took the route at Epsom as a way into clerking. “Racing and event operations have a lot of similarities in terms of risk management,” he says, “and although I didn’t see event management being a long-term career, it’s given me a huge knowledge of the racecourse environment, which I hope will be very useful as a clerk.”
Might he one day take over his uncle’s wellingtons and GoingStick at the Derby venue? Andrew Cooper is not so bold as to make that forecast but does say: “Daniel’s manner in dealing with people and his attention to detail and love of racing make him an ideal candidate to become a very capable clerk of the course.”
Team Gallagher back in full flight and optimistic for the future
Having been sliding towards the exit door of ownership, Pat Gallagher and his son Robert have returned with a vengeance thanks to the work of one trainer and his team.
King Of Swing carried the familiar green and white silks of Gallagher Bloodstock Limited to victory at Chelmsford recently, after which Robert Gallagher credited former champion jockey-turned-trainer Richard Hughes with relighting their fire for ownership.
“We were nearly out of it a little while ago,” he says. “We’d always had a few horses but Dad’s really tried to pick up the quality the last year or two and that’s because of Richard.
“Richard’s a gentleman and he’s got an amazing team; we love going down there on a Saturday and seeing everything in action. Richard’s an outstanding ambassador for the game, he really is.”
The Gallaghers have been involved in ownership in one way or another for at least 20 years, and Robert Gallagher admits he has worried for the health of the sport at times.
However, with the likes of Racing Post columnist Hughes making life better for owners and bumper crowds packed into Chelmsford for the racing and Boyzone, he feels the sport is holding its own.
He says: “Richard was a fantastic jockey, obviously, but he’s becoming a top trainer as well. He understands what owners want and how to make racing work for them.
“I’ve been around horses and racing for as long as I can remember and there are times when you worry about the health of the sport. You see all the people here tonight and you can see there’s potential, even though a lot of it is because of Boyzone. It’s not for everyone but it gets them coming in.”
Jaunt down under for JCR’s Hatherley
It is certainly the time of year when the Melbourne Cup Carnival is in the mind and it’s not just an opportunity for those with four legs, for Newmarket racecourses’ estates manager Alan Hatherley will soon be off to spend a fortnight in Australia shadowing and supporting the grounds team at Flemington.
In a partnership between the Jockey Club and Victoria Racing Club, Hatherley will have the chance to observe and support preparations in the lead up to one of Australia’s biggest national events.
Hatherley says: “This trip to Melbourne is an incredible opportunity for me. It really is once-in-a-lifetime stuff. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from the team at Flemington and be able to share that knowledge with the fantastic team back here.”
The last cent has been counted, the Euros have been tallied, and the final sum raised for charity at this year’s Hurling for Cancer match is a fantastic €160,000. The money raised will go to the Irish Cancer Society’s cancer research team, and takes the total raised by the popular event to €700,000. A record crowd of almost 4,000 attended last month’s match, organised by Jim Bolger and Davy Russell and supported by GAA, hurling, soccer and racing stars past and present – with Bolger’s Stars claiming victory.