Wednesday 7 December 2016

Pat Taaffe

Published 27/04/2015 | 02:30

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Arkle, with Pat Taaffe up, trainer Tom Draper and the horse's owner, Anne,Duchess of Westminster at the 1965 Spring at the RDS
Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Arkle, with Pat Taaffe up, trainer Tom Draper and the horse's owner, Anne,Duchess of Westminster at the 1965 Spring at the RDS

IT would be easy, and foolish, to dismiss Pat Taaffe as a one-horse wonder, to assume that he was no more than the right jockey in the right place at the right time.

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Taaffe was much more than that. Certainly his partnership with Arkle made them the most formidable pairing in National Hunt racing history, winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1964, '65 and '66.

That would be enough for most, but Taaffe's career in the saddle flourished elsewhere as he secured another Gold Cup on Fort Laney, two Aintree Grand Nationals and four Irish Nationals.

As a trainer, he saddled Captain Christy to Gold Cup success in 1974.

Sunday Independent

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