McManus: JT was a very special person

Rith Dubh - Mr J.T.McNamara

JT McNamara riding Rith Dubh to victory in the famous McManus silks

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham ( 

JP McMANUS paid tribute to “a very special person” following the death of former amateur rider JT McNamara at the age of 41.

The leading owner enjoyed a long, and close relationship with the jockey, who often donned the famous green and gold silks and rode many McManus-owned horses to victory.

McNamara’s skilled handling of Rith Dubh in the 2002 National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival was a ride displaying all of his horsemanship, and McManus on Wednesday extolled McNamara’s qualities in and out of the saddle.

He said: “I knew him for many years. The more one got to know him, the more one loved him. He was very direct and never used two
words if one would do.”

“We enjoyed many successes together on the track. While he was a very forceful rider, he was also excellent at cajoling a horse to produce his best when that was necessary. His winning ride on Rith Dubh in the National Hunt Chase was a wonderful example and will be remembered as one of the great Cheltenham Festival rides.”

“He was very loyal to man and horse, and had a great affinity for Spot Thedifference. He won a lot of races on him and stayed loyal to him in races where other horses of ours looked to have better chances.”

Read more of an emotional tribute to JT McNamara in Wednesday’s Racing Post.

The edition also includes Alastair Down’s reflection on an “extraordinarily instinctive horseman”


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