Kerry based handler Tom Cooper is a softly spoken man that prefers to let his thoroughbreds do the talking for him.
Cooper trains under both codes, national hunt and flat – he is not fussy when it comes to getting more successes. He also pre-trains for Andrew Brooks – there is never a dull moment in his busy Tralee yard. Blissfully Married to Geraldine, with two children Bryan and Sarah this meticulous racehorse trainer is best recognised for his Cheltenham Festival successes, such as Total Enjoyment’s in the Champion Bumper in 2004 and Forpadydeplasterer in the Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase in 2009.
Speaking of his two favourite moments of his life thus far, Cooper replied; “Bryan (My Son) winning the Gold Cup on Don Cossack is up there with my favourite racing memories, while my Sarah graduating with an honours degree from college is another which I am especially proud off” beamed the ultra-proud father.
Tom’s father had a permit to train and his uncle was a trainer, so the natural progression of him going down that line of work wasn’t a surprise to anybody, Cooper added to the conversation; “On Your Todd’ was my first winner back in May 23rd 1990 at Mallow racecourse, since then I have achieved so much, although I never ever stop being appreciative of all the good people I have always had around me”.
There is no rest to be had around Cooper’s yard, his typical daily routine starts at 6.30am when he gets up from his bed, from then onwards it is all go – feed the horses, mucking out them, then ride 6 or 7 lots, if time allows grab a swift lunch, then back for evening duties – speaking of his chaotic routine Cooper insisted; “Standing looking at things won’t get much done, you have to get stuck in. I am lucky to be busy, sure wouldn’t it be worse if I had nothing to be at”.
What does this conscientious trainer do when all the work is done? he quickly replied; “Netflix, reading the racing post, or heading to the pub one or two nights at the weekend , that’s what I be at with my free time. Sure, we could not let Tom Cooper go without giving us a few horses to follow, could we? He replied; “I have two that are going well – At War, and Brave Kingdom, you could do a lot worse than to keep an eye of them when the racing gets going again.