Bryan Cooper no longer ’retained’ rider at Gigginstown Stud

Bryan Cooper will no longer be the retained rider for leading owners Gigginstown House Stud.

After hitting the headlines with a treble at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013, Cooper was handed the coveted role at the start of 2014, replacing Davy Russell.

The combination has gone on to enjoy great success, winning numerous Grade One prizes with the likes of Identity Thief, Don Poli, and, most notably, 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Don Cossack.

Cooper’s latest top-level victory in the maroon and white silks of Ryanair supremo Michael O’Leary’s operation was aboard Apple’s Jade in the Mares Champion Hurdle at Punchestown in April, also steering her to Cheltenham glory the previous month.

Gigginstown Stud’s manager, Eddie O’Leary, said: "There’s been no parting company, we’ll still be using him a lot, he just won’t have automatic first choice as of today.

"We’ll still be using and supporting him, but he won’t have first call on the horses, that’s all."

O’Leary revealed the team did not intend to appoint a direct replacement, adding: "There are a lot of good riders out there.

"Be it Bryan or Sean Flanagan or Davy Russell or Jack Kennedy, we’ll be using the best available."


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