J.T.McNamara: seen in action aboard Rith Dubh (green and gold)
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
By Tony McFadden 2:26PM 26 JUL 2016
FOLLOWING the death of JT McNamara, aged 41, key figures within racing have paid tribute to the leading amateur rider, who won over 600 races during a remarkable career, including four at the Cheltenham Festival.
Part of McNamara’s success came from his exceptional horsemanship and trainer Jonjo O’Neill was keen to hail that particular skill.
One of McNamara’s most heralded rides was his win aboard Rith Dubh in the 2002 National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Rith Dubh had developed a reputation for being a quirky character who rarely found much off the bridle when the whip was drawn, but McNamara did not draw the whip and instead coaxed and cajoled the horse into the lead when it mattered most, impressing many with a ride of such patience and coolness in a high-pressure situation.
McNamara had no peers around the unique banks course at Punchestown. He was memorably in the saddle when Risk Of Thunder won the La Touche Cup for a seventh time. This remarkable photo showcases the balance and talent of both horse and rider.
Risk of Thunder and JT McNamara clear a bank with little to spare
PICTURE: Caroline Norris (racingpost.com/photos)
McNamara’s fourth and final win at the Cheltenham Festival was achieved aboard Teaforthree in the 2012 National Hunt Chase and trainer Rebecca Curtis will always be thankful to McNamara for providing her with her first ever Festival winner.
Above all, JT McNamara was a great friend to many in racing