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Giant of jump racing Tommy Carberry dies aged 75

Tommy Carberry with son Paul after Bobbyjo's Irish Grand National success in 1998
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Tommy Carberry, one of the great jump jockeys of his era and a man who will forever be associated with Cheltenham and Aintree hero L'Escargot, died on Wednesday at the age of 75.

Carberry, four times Ireland's champion jump jockey in the 1970s, also founded a riding dynasty as father of jockeys Paul, Philip, Peter, and Nina.

He won the Gold Cup on L'Escargot in 1970 and 1971 then, four years later, rode him to lower the colours of the Grand National's mightiest hero Red Rum.

He also won the Gold Cup on Ten Up in 1975 and rode a total of 16 Cheltenham Festival winners.

Carberry achieved the first of those wins when landing what is now the Supreme Novices' Hurdle on Tripacer, trained by his father-in-law Dan Moore, in 1962, going on to win the Galway Hurdle on the same horse later that year.

L'Escargot and jockey Tommy Carberry after winning from Red Rum in the 1975 Grand National

His final festival triumph came in 1982 when he rode The Brockshee, trained by his brother-in-law Arthur Moore, to win the Arkle Trophy.

In the intervening 20 years, his festival winners included Inkslinger, on whom he won both the Champion Chase and the Cathcart Chase in 1973, and Tied Cottage in the 1976 RSA Chase, a race he also landed on Ten Up in 1974.

He also finished first in the 1980 Gold Cup on Tied Cottage, only for the horse to fail a dope test owing to a batch of contaminated feed and be disqualified.

Carberry rode Brown Lad to two of his three of his Irish Grand National victories, in 1975 and 1976, and also landed the 1973 Galway Plate on Leap Frog.

Following his retirement from riding, he embarked on a training career and enjoyed his biggest success when Bobbyjo, ridden by his son Paul, landed the 1999 Aintree Grand National, a year after winning the Irish equivalent at Fairyhouse.

Carberry was champion apprentice in 1959 and continued to ride frequently on the Flat during his career, winning the Joe McGrath Memorial Stakes on Fordham, trained by Vincent O’Brien, at Leopardstown in 1979.

L'Escargot and Tommy Carberry win the 1975 Grand National from Red Rum

Other big Flat successes included the Beresford Stakes on the Clem Magnier-trained Just A Game in 1978 and the International Stakes on Hurry Harriet for Paddy Mulllins at Phoenix Park in 1975.

Carberry is survived by his widow, Pamela, jockey sons Paul, Philip and Peter, jockey daughter Nina, and sons Thomas and Mark.

Paul became Irish champion jockey and partnered 14 Cheltenham Festival winners, while Nina became the leading lady rider of her generation. Philip, who rode Sublimity to win the Champion Hurdle in 2007, also enjoyed plenty of success in France.

Paying tribute to his long-time friend, Frank Berry, with whom Carberry shared the Irish championship  in 1975, said yesterday: “It’s very sad news. Tommy and I went back a long way. We rode against one another, travelled a lot together and were great friends.

"He was both a marvellous horseman and a great jockey. He was a great man to follow in a race and I don’t think we ever had cross words.

"One of the highlights of my career was sharing the jockeys' title with him in 1975. Tommy was well-established at that time and it was my first championship. It meant an awful lot to finish the year level with him."

Berry added: “When he started training I was lucky enough to ride a few winners for him. He was a legend and passed on a lot to his sons and to Nina.”

Jim Dreaper, trainer of Ten Up and Brown Lad, said: “I’m very sorry to hear the news of Tommy’s passing. He was a wonderful help to me in the early years of my training career. As a rider, he was top class –an absolute natural, just as his son Paul turned out to be.”

Carberry's health had been failing health in recent months, and he died in Curragha Nursing Home in County Meath, just two days after another legend of Irish racing and another former champion jockey, Martin Molony, passed away at the age of 91.

He will be reposing in the McEntaggarts funeral home in Ratoath between 3pm and 8pm on Saturday. The funeral mass will take place in Ratoath Parish Church at 12.15 on Sunday, followed by burial in Ratoath cemetery.

Tommy Carberry: a life in racing

Born September 16, 1941

Apprenticed to Jimmy Lenehan

First winner Ben Beoch, Curragh, May 14, 1958

Grand National winner L'Escargot (1975)

Cheltenham Gold Cup winners L'Escargot (1970, 1971), Ten Up (1975); also disqualified on Tied Cottage (1980)

NH Two-Mile Champion Chase winner Inkslinger (1973)

Lloyds Bank (Stayers') Hurdle winners Brown Lad (1975), Town Ship (1977)

Irish Grand National winner Brown Lad (1975, 1976)

Colonial Cup winner Inkslinger (1971)

Group 1 winner on Flat Fordham (1979 Joe McGrath Memorial Stakes)

Other Cheltenham Festival winners Tripacer (1962 Gloucestershire Hurdle, Div 1), Bahrain (1963 County Hurdle), Flying Wild (1966 Cathcart Chase), L'Escargot (1968 Gloucestershire Hurdle, Div 2), Inkslinger (1973 Cathcart Chase), Ten Up (1974 Sun Alliance Chase), Tied Cottage (1976 Sun Alliance Chase), Meladon (1977 Triumph Hurdle), Anaglogs Daughter (1980 Arkle Chase), The Brockshee (1982 Arkle Chase)

Massey-Ferguson Gold Cup winner Flying Wild (1964 - Arkle 3rd)

Galway Plate winner Leap Frog (1973)

Other big-race wins on L'Escargot 1969 Scalp Hurdle, Meadow Brook Chase, 1970 Wills Premier Chase Final

Other big-race winners over jumps Tripacer (1962 Galway Hurdle), Veuve (1969 Champion Novice Hurdle), Lockyersleigh (1971 Scalp Hurdle), Frou Frou (1972 Power Gold Cup Chase), Flashy Boy (1974 Scalp Hurdle), Ten Up (1974 Irish Arkle Chase, 1975 Whitbread Trial Chase), Hilly Way (1976 Champion Novice Hurdle), Mwanadike (1976 Champion 4-Y-O Hurdle), Ballyross (1978 Power Gold Cup Chase), Royal Bond (1982 Leopardstown Chase)

Other big-race winners on Flat Hurry Harriet (1975 Whitehall Stakes), Just A Game (1978 Beresford Stakes)

Champion jump jockey in Ireland 4 times: 1973, 1974, 1975 (joint), 1976

Most wins in a year in Ireland 86 in 1976 (including 71 over jumps)

Stables Ballybin, Ashbourne, Co. Dublin

Grand National winner as trainer Bobbyjo (1999)

Irish Grand National winner as trainer Bobbyjo (1998)

Last winner Blaze Of Fire, Wexford, June 20, 2012

He was both a marvellous horseman and a great jockey. I don’t think we ever had cross words
E.W. Terms