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Irish racing community well represented at riding great's funeral

Martin Molony: the legendary jockey died on Monday aged 91
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The Irish racing world was well represented at both stages of the funeral of former champion jockey Martin Molony, who died on Monday at the age of 91.

The funeral mass, celebrated by Canon Gary Bluett, for the legendary rider, whose career was cut short by injury in 1951, took place in St Michael's Church in Manister, County Limerick, at noon on Saturday following his removal to the church on Friday evening.

The eulogy at Saturday's mass was delivered by Molony's son Peter, owner of Rathmore Stud in County Limerick, and he related the situation which faced his father after his career-ending fall on a horse called Bursary at Thurles and which emphasised the high regard in which he was held as a jockey.

Molony said: "There was talk about my father maybe making a comeback and, while that never happened, he was offered the job as number-one jockey to Paddy Prendergast on the Flat and as number one over jumps for Vincent O'Brien."


David Jennings looks back on the life of Martin Molony


Trainers who attended the mass and the subsequent burial in the adjoining cemetery included Arthur Moore, Andrew McNamara snr, Andy Oliver and Dick Brabazon, whose father, Aubrey, was a contemporary of Molony's in the 1940s and early 1950s.

Also present were former trainers Guy Williams, who wrote Molony's biography, A Legend In His Lifetime, and Cyril 'Buster' Harty, whose father, Cyril, was instrumental in getting Molony started as a young jockey and for whom Molony won the Irish Grand National on Knight's Crest in 1944, and James Burns.

Former jockey and trainer Willie Robinson, Qatar Racing's bloodstock adviser David Redvers, and Joe Foley of Ballyhane Stud also attended, while the Turf Club was represented by Tony Molloy and Edward Flannery.

Molony is arguably the greatest dual-purpose rider there has ever been, winning the Irish title six times and landing the Cheltenham Gold Cup, thee Irish Nationals and three Irish Classics, all before injury ended his career aged just 26.

There was talk about my father making a comeback, he was offered the job as number one jockey to Paddy Prendergast [Flat] and Vincent O'Brien [jumps]