Tuesday 24 April 2018

O'Regan makes pledge to work hard as ever as link-up with Ferguson cools

Denis O'Regan riding Sea Lord
Denis O'Regan riding Sea Lord
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Leading jump jockey Denis O'Regan says he will operate on a more independent basis after it emerged his lucrative association with Newmarket handler John Ferguson is to become less formal.

O'Regan has effectively been first jockey to Ferguson, the well-known bloodstock manager to Sheikh Mohammed who has made a big impression since initiating the Dubai prince's Bloomfields National Hunt arm. They combined for 55 wins from 250 outings over the past three campaigns, including a Grade One success with Ruacana at Chepstow last year.

However, the 32-year-old Youghal native said yesterday: "I have been a freelance since I left Howard Johnson but I have ridden predominantly for John Ferguson over the past two seasons.

"I will continue to be freelance and work hard as I always have done to ride for as many trainers as possible and that includes John Ferguson. I wish him and his team all the best for the future."

Meanwhile, Toormore has been given a clean bill of health after his run in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas.

Richard Hannon's colt was champion European juvenile last season and won the Craven Stakes on his return, but connections feel that race may have come too soon to the Classic as he could finish only seventh. After having a tracheal wash on Tuesday the results have come back all clear. Tim Palin, racing manager for Middleham Park Racing, said: "Everything has come back fine.

"We'll see what happens now in the French Guineas and over in Ireland (Guineas) and we'll see who is going where.

"It will be either the St James's Palace or the Prix Jean Prat I'd have thought, but there is a small chance he could be supplemented for the Irish Guineas as that is still some way off. We'll just see."

Irish Independent

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