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Conor with his father, Eric.

7lb claiming jockey Conor McNamara is From Rathkeale, County Limerick; he is the son of respected trainer Eric, and brother of jockey Emmet; on the face of it being a jockey wasn’t a choice for Conor, it was almost a given.

The McNamara family are steeped in national hunt antiquity, and by the way Conor has kicked on from the onset it seems safe in saying the family name will likely be in the limelight for a long time to come.

Is Conor McNamara a potential champion jockey in the making?

I wouldn’t back against it by the way he is progressing at the minute. He is a very educated rider and his race riding fractions are seldom the fault of losing a race; he is willing to learn which in my opinion sets him apart from the remainder. He is some value for his claim, as the winter goes on that will come more apparent.

Conor’s first racecourse winner was on Offshore Account, trained by his father, at Killarney on August 24, 2023 – since then the scrupulous young man has been keeping his head down and letting his exceptional riding skills do the talking.

Conor with his father after his first winner

Progressive trainer Gavin Cromwell has been one of Conor’s biggest backers from the beginning, having a mainstream trainer like Cromwell behind you can be deemed a real godsend at the start of any young riders profession. Conor has answered every call from Cromwell; he seems to be a rider who can ride to instructions impeccably, something some of the younger riders are battling with.

McNamara’s ride over Christmas on Peaches and Cream was nearly a nightmare for young man live in-front of the RTE and Racing TV camera’s he mistook where the finishing line was nonetheless fortuitously for him his mount had plenty left to secure a half-length win over Millen To One.

Straight Away after the race he got interviewed by Gary O’Brien; understandably quite shook by the error, in spite of the nerves he came across very professional; he indisputably has a wise head, on a young shoulders.

That ride on Peaches and Cream would have been ride of the month material bar the miscalculation at the end, as the horse never travelled throughout with any gusto, and Conor kept him right in the picture until he found his stride. I’m thrilled he did win as no jockey needs that playing on their mind, what could have been.

Lesson learned, Conor won’t be doing that again in a hurry again. He is a jockey heading places fast with normal progression that is expected.