Gold cup winning jockey Bryan Cooper is endeavouring to make the most of a “great opportunity” after being announced as the new first-choice rider for leading national owner Alan Potts’ British-based string.
Cooper endured a colossal blow earlier this year after losing the much sought-after position as number one jockey to the all-conquering Gigginstown House Stud, after a spell of unfortunate injuries but he has refused to give up and he has been rewarded with a lucrative new post
Recent media speculation last month proposed Cooper could be about to make the big move to ride full-time in Britain, but he released a statement stating, “there are no significant agreements in place at this time and I will continue to be based in Ireland.”
However, Cooper has made fleeting trips across the Irish Sea in recent weeks to ride horses either owned or part-owned by Andrew Brooks and he is set to be seen on British tracks even more regularly in the coming weeks and months after agreeing to ride the Potts-owned horses that are based in the UK.
His first opportunity to get among the winners for his new employers is at Ludlow Racecourse on Tuesday afternoon, as he is booked to ride the Colin Tizzard-trained pair of Exxaro and Mick Thonic in Shropshire.
Cooper told Press Association Sport: “I’m definitely looking forward to it and it’s a great opportunity. “The (Potts and Tizzard) have some fantastic horses.”
Although Cooper looks set to take over many of those rides this season, Robbie Power will continue to ride the owner’s Irish-trained horses, including Jessica Harrington’s Sizing John, who he guided to glory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup glory in March.
Handler Colin Tizzard is predominantly the key trainer in Britain to the Potts horses and he has stated: “Bryan Cooper is going to ride the Alan Potts-owned horses in Britain and Robbie Power will ride the ones trained in Ireland. Bryan is a very good rider and Alan wanted continuity. “Bryan is a top-class rider and we are happy to have him on board.”