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Coleman tight-lipped over McManus partnership



Jockey Aidan Coleman

Jockey Aidan Coleman

Jockey Aidan Coleman

Aidan Coleman is in pole position to replace Barry Geraghty as JP McManus' new retained rider in Britain despite downplaying any speculation linking him to one of jump racing's most coveted positions.

Geraghty, who rode five winners for McManus at the Cheltenham Festival in March, shocked the racing world when bringing his 24-year career to a close over the weekend and opening the debate about his successor.

Mark Walsh has thrived on home ground during Geraghty's lengthy injury absences and is sure to be in the mix as one of the best riders in the Irish weighing room but with Cork native Coleman already based in the UK, the 31-year-old may be favoured for the role.

Geraghty replaced AP McCoy as retained rider to McManus in 2015 but, aside from the Meath jockey, Coleman has been the most successful for McManus in Britain in the last five seasons with big-race victories on the likes of Epatante and Champ.

When linked to the job, Coleman said: "I wouldn't have a clue. I'm very fortunate that I ride for a lot of people, I'm very busy and I ride a lot of nice horses.

"I'm just concentrating on myself and what will be, will be after that."

Coleman has been on the crest of a wave in recent seasons with his fruitful association with Stayers' Hurdle winner Paisley Park parachuting him into the public consciousness at Cheltenham last year.

He also scored at this year's Festival when guiding Henry de Bromhead's Put The Kettle On to Arkle glory, while others who are likely to come into the conversation include Jonjo O'Neill Jnr and Nico de Boinville.

Meanwhile, Recent Sandown scorer A'Ali is set to be supplemented for this weekend's Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh.

The son of Society Rock claimed a hat-trick of Group Two wins as a two-year-old last season, landing the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Prix Robert Papin at Deauville and the Flying Childers at Doncaster.

He signed off his juvenile campaign with a run at the Breeders' Cup, where he was done no favours by the draw, and while he was down the field on his reappearance at Newcastle, he returned to his best with victory in the Group Three Coral Charge at Sandown on Eclipse day.

Belfast Telegraph