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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Noel O'Brien deputy Andrew Shaw succeeds much missed handicapper

Horse racing: Andrew 'Sandy' Shaw, pictured here with jockey Roger Loughran (left) and trainer Tony Martin (right) at a charity football match
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Noel O'Brien's long-term deputy Andrew 'Sandy' Shaw is set to officially succeed the much-missed senior jumps handicapper after being appointed to the vacant position by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.

Shaw, who first joined the Turf Club as a handicapper in 1995, had been touted as the natural successor to O'Brien following the 57-year-old's death in December after a long battle with illness.

He will now formally take on the responsibility of heading up the handicapping division over jumps. In a statement that confirmed his promotion Shaw said he is looking forward to the challenge, although he expressed his regret as to how the opportunity transpired. 

Noel O'Brien, the former senior National Hunt handicapper who died in December

He said: “I'm delighted to accept the role of senior National Hunt handicapper, although not in the circumstances I would have wished following the untimely departure of my late colleague and close friend Noel O’Brien.

"I look forward to working with all of the stakeholders within the racing industry at home and overseas, and also to the challenge of continuing the good work performed by my predecessor.”

A native of Newbridge in County Kildare, Shaw is a graduate of the Irish National Stud course and gained experience in the racing and breeding industries at home and in America before joining the regulator.

Welcoming his appointment, Peter Allen, chairman of the IHRB and senior steward of the Irish National Hunt Steeplechase Committee, said: “He brings a wealth of knowledge to the role. Andrew and the late Noel O’Brien were an excellent team and much respected by all in the sport for their wise judgement, analytical minds and handicapping skills. I wish Andrew well in his new role.”

Noel O'Brien tribute

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I am delighted to accept the role, although not in the circumstances I would have wished following the untimely departure of my colleague and friend
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