Bryan Cooper: just ten shy of Ruby Walsh, who could miss rest of season
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
BRYAN COOPER is firmly focused on riding as many winners as possible as he aims to strengthen his chances of claiming the Irish jump jockeys’ title for the first time.
The 23-year-old, who is retained by Gigginstown House Stud, has 92 victories this season, just ten shy of Ruby Walsh, who could be out for the remainder of the season with a wrist injury.
Much will depend on whether the defending champion recovers in time for the Punchestown festival but Cooper is eyeing a strong finish with the curtain coming down on April 30.
“I’ve had a great year with Don Cossack winning the Gold Cup but to win the jockeys’ championship would be unbelievable,” said Cooper, who will be hoping for more success with the star chaser in the Grade 1 Bibby Financial Services Ireland Punchestown Gold Cup on Wednesday week.
“I have to ride 11 more winners than Ruby before the end of the season to win it and it won’t be easy. There aren’t too many jumps meetings before Punchestown and the spare rides aren’t really there any more so I know it’ll be an uphill battle but I’m going to give it a go.
“At the same time, I’m still only 23 so if I don’t win it, it won’t be the end of the world and I would like to think I might have another opportunity before my career is over.”
Measure ‘ideal type’ for Ayr
Cooper will be on board Measureofmydreams in the Coral Scottish National at Ayr on Saturday and he expects a big run from the Willie Mullins-trained favourite.
“Measureofmydreams looks an ideal type for the race and his form stacks up well from Cheltenham with Native River winning at Aintree,” he said.
“He made a bad mistake early on and did well to finish as close as he did. Even his run at Navan before that looks good now as he would have given Black Hercules a race had that one not fell at the last.
“He has had a nice break since Cheltenham and I am really looking forward to the race.”
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