Charlie Swan (horse trainer)

Last updated

Charlie Swan (born 20 January 1968) [1] is a former top National Hunt jockey in Ireland in the 1990s. He is associated with the great Istabraq, on whom he won three Champion Hurdles. He was twice top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival and was champion National Hunt jockey in Ireland for nine consecutive years. [2] After retiring as a jockey he spent several years a trainer, based in Modreeny near Cloughjordan, County Tipperary.

Contents

First and only son to Donald Swan, a former British Army Captain, and his wife Teresa, Charlie was named after an ancestor who was the surgeon to the British King 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'. He rode his first winner as a fifteen-year-old, on his father’s Final Assault, in a two-year-old maiden at Naas in March 1983, and, after a successful spell as an apprentice, he later turned his attention to the National Hunt scene. He won his first Irish jockeys' championship in 1989/90 and retained the title up to and including the 1997/98 season. He was only deposed as champion Irish rider after deciding to concentrate on his training career. Swan holds the Irish records for the most winners in a season (147 in 1995/96) and the most in a calendar year. [3]

Away from Cheltenham, he has ridden numerous big-race winners, including Ebony Jane in the Irish Grand National and Ushers Island and Life Of A Lord in the Whitbread Gold Cup.

Cheltenham

Swan's first Cheltenham festival winner was Trapper John in the Stayers Hurdle in 1990. He was twice leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival, 1993 and 1994. He will always be associated with Istabraq, who won at the festival four years in a row, but other memorable wins were Danoli's Royal & Sun Alliance Hurdle and Viking Flagship's Queen Mother Champion Chase. [4]

Istabraq

He will be forever associated with the legendary gelding Istabraq on which he rode to victory 23 times over hurdles including three consecutive renewals of the Champion Hurdle (1998 to 2000), four Irish Champion Hurdles (1998–2001) and big race wins at Aintree, Leopardstown and Punchestown. He won the 1997 Royal and Sun Alliance Hurdle when sent off a 6/5 fav. Istabraq sweated up badly before the race and Charlie rode a masterful race, getting him settled at the very back of a large field, then resisting the urge to make up ground going uphill before battling to victory by a length. In 1998 it was more straightforward as Istabraq won the Champion Hurdle going right away up the hill to win by 12 lengths. He confirmed his superiority by winning again in 1999 and 2000. He was the ante post favourite for the 2001 Champion Hurdle, but the Foot and Mouth outbreak caused the 2001 festival to be abandoned. Despite just one unconvincing run and plenty of rumours about Istabraq's fitness before Cheltenham, there was still a late flood of money for the great horse in 2002. But Istabraq was never right and Charlie had to pull him up in front of the stands. Nevertheless, both horse and rider were given a tremendous ovation by the crowd.

Trainer

Based in Cloughjordan, Charlie Swan took out a trainer's licence in 1998, taking over from his father, Donald Swan. He operated as both jockey and trainer for a few years until having his final ride on Aintree Grand National Day in April 2003. In the last eight seasons or so, he has managed to notch up nearly 270 winners as a trainer.

Big successes have included This Is Serious (2001 Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park and 2002 Tote Eider Chase at Newcastle), No Discount (second in the 2000 Sun Alliance Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham), Anxious Moment (2002 Powers Gold Label Handicap Hurdle at Fairyhouse and 2003 Craddockstown Novice Chase at Punchestown), Ground Ball (2005 Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse), What A Native (four straight victories in 2005/6 including the Porterstown Chase at Fairyhouse and the Pierse Leoaprdstown Chase). His biggest win to date came in 2007 when One Cool Cookie took the grade one Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse. This was followed by another big prize when Emmpat won 2 days later at the same venue. In 2015 he announced his retirement from training due to increased costs and a lack of quality horses. [5]

Cheltenham Festival winners (17)

Major wins

Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland


Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain

Related Research Articles

Thomas Richard Dunwoody MBE is a retired British jockey in National Hunt racing. He was a three-time Champion Jockey.

Barry Geraghty

Barry Geraghty is a retired Irish jockey. He is the second most successful jockey of all time at the Cheltenham Festival.

Istabraq is a retired Irish Thoroughbred racehorse who was most famous for his hurdling. He won the Champion Hurdle on three occasions. He was trained by Aidan O'Brien and owned by John Patrick McManus. Jockey Charlie Swan rode him in all of his 29 races over jumps.

John Joseph "Jonjo" O'Neill is an Irish National Hunt racehorse trainer and former jockey. He is a native of Castletownroche, County Cork in Ireland. Based at the Jackdaws Castle training establishment in England. O'Neill twice won the British Champion Jockey title and won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on the mare, Dawn Run who became the only horse to complete the double of winning the Champion Hurdle and the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. He won 900 races as a jockey.

Ted Walsh

Ted Walsh is an Irish amateur jockey turned racehorse trainer who was born and raised in Co. Cork but based in Kill, County Kildare, Ireland. Ted is also father to amateur Irish National Hunt jockey, Katie Walsh and professional national hunt jockey Ruby Walsh.

William Peter Mullins, is an Irish racehorse trainer and former jockey from Goresbridge, County Kilkenny, but is based at Closutton, Muine Bheag, County Carlow, Ireland.

Nicky Henderson British racehorse trainer (born 1950)

Nicholas John Henderson is a British racehorse trainer. He has been British jump racing Champion Trainer six times.

Michael "Mouse" Morris, formally the Hon. Michael Morris, is an Irish racehorse trainer and former amateur and professional jockey. As a trainer, he has won the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and has won the Irish Grand National twice. In 2016, he won both the Grand National and Irish Grand National double.

Mick Fitzgerald is a retired Irish National Hunt jockey and current television racing presenter. Fitzgerald rode for the majority of his career in Great Britain and less often Ireland.

Richard Johnson (jockey)

Richard Johnson is a retired English National Hunt jockey. Johnson is the second most prolific winner in the history of National Hunt Racing behind Sir Anthony McCoy, a long-time rival of Johnson's, with over 3500 winners. Richard Dunwoody previously held the record with 1874.

Paul Carberry

Paul Carberry is a retired Irish National Hunt jockey.

The Hatton's Grace Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Ireland which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Fairyhouse over a distance of about 2 miles and 4 furlongs, and during its running there are twelve hurdles to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year in late November or early December.

The Irish Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Ireland which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Leopardstown over a distance of about 2 miles, and during its running there are eight hurdles to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year in late January or early February.

The Royal Bond Novice Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Ireland which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Fairyhouse over a distance of about 2 miles, and during its running there are ten hurdles to be jumped. The race is for novice hurdlers, and it is scheduled to take place each year in late November or early December.

Davy Russell Irish National Hunt jockey

Davy Russell is an Irish National Hunt jockey. He has been Irish jump racing Champion Jockey three times, and has won the Grand National (twice), the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris.

Danoli was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse. He was best known for his successes in hurdle races, although he also had success in steeplechases later in his career. Danoli was described as the most popular racehorse in Ireland during the 1990s, and was regarded as "the People's Champion". His successes were achieved despite the fact that his career was frequently disrupted by injury. He was noted for a rivalry with another Irish horse, Dorans Pride.

Dessie Hughes was an Irish racehorse trainer and jockey. He was the father of British champion jockey, Richard Hughes, and won at the Cheltenham Festival as both jockey and trainer.

Klairon Davis was a French-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse who competed under National Hunt rules. In a racing career which lasted from April 1993 and May 2001, he won twenty of his fifty-four races and was placed on sixteen occasions. After beginning in National Hunt Flat races he competed over hurdles winning the Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle in 1994. In the following season he raced in novice chases and recorded major wins in the Dennys Gold Medal Chase, Arkle Novice Chase and Arkle Challenge Trophy. In 1996 he had his biggest success when taking the Queen Mother Champion Chase and followed up in the BMW Handicap Chase. He was never as good again, but won a second BMW Chase in 1997 and took the Normans Grove Chase in 1998, 1999 and 2001 before retiring at the age of twelve. During his career he had sustained rivalries with the leading Irish jumpers Sound Man and Merry Gale.

Jessica Jane Harrington is an Irish professional horse trainer. Harrington specialises in National Hunt racing but has also had success in Flat racing.

Limestone Lad is a retired Irish Thoroughbred racehorse who competed mainly in National Hunt racing. Bred, owned and trained by a farming family in rural Ireland he was offered for sale as three-year-old but was rejected after failing a medical examination. His early racing career was unremarkable but he made steady improvement and eventually retired with a record of thirty-five wins and nineteen places from sixty-five races. He was best known for his durability and his performances in long-distance hurdle races and usually raced from the front.

References

  1. bbc sport profile
  2. "HRI | Leading Jockeys". Goracing.ie. 2016-02-14. Retrieved 2018-01-27.
  3. "Cheltenham Festival Top Jockeys: Charlie Swan". Fatjockey.com. 2014-01-27. Retrieved 2018-01-27.
  4. Cheltenham Festival victories as a jockey Archived May 2, 2005, at the Wayback Machine