McNamara ready for professional challenge

Robbie McNamara: Will have first rides as a professional at Gowran Park tomorrow.

Top amateur Robbie McNamara has decided to turn professional and will have his first rides in his new capacity at Gowran Park tomorrow.

McNamara stands almost 6’3” and has waged war with the scales throughout his career.

Currently able to do 11-7, he believes that riding on a far more regular basis as a professional will be a major help in controlling his weight.

Said McNamara: “This is something I have always wanted to do and was thinking about it last year, before Christmas. But then I broke my collarbone and that set me back.

“I think the time is now right. I was looking the other day at what I’ve done over the last couple of months and discovered I had only 14 rides in the previous 90 days.

“I believe turning pro will actually help to reduce my weight and I’ve no doubt can get it down to 11-4.”

He realises that his options going forward may be limited but is unperturbed. “Look at George Baker in England,” said McNamara, “he can only do 9-1 (on the flat), but it doesn’t stop him riding a hundred winners a year.”

The 26-year-old has long been regarded as a high-class pilot, who rides astonishingly stylishly for one so tall. He showcased his talents at the Cheltenham festival in March when producing the Dermot Weld-trained Silver Concorde with a sustained challenge in the straight to beat Shaneshill and Ruby Walsh in the Watherbys’ Champion Bumper.

The following day, McNamara did it again, this time aboard Jim Culloty’s Spring Heeled in the Kim Muir Handicap Chase.

He ended his amateur days at Fairhyouse on Wednesday and expects to have several rides at Gowran Park and also at Navan on Sunday.

McNamara’s agent is Alan Donoghue, who has a number of jockeys on his books, including Gigginstown’s Bryan Cooper.


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