We are delighted to bring you an interview with Noel Fehily. Noel is a multiple Grade 1 winning National Hunt jockey, who recently retired. In the interview we talk about the early days, winning the King George VI and Altior. We also find out what he is up to now….
I started by asking Noel if he missed racing now the season is starting to get underway….
Not at the moment, I think the time was right….
Back when you first started, did you go through the conditional jockey route and how does it differ from today?
I was riding at Point to Point at weekends and ended up going through the Conditional Jockeys route. Now they have fitness & nutrition along with jockey coaches. Back then we had to do all that ourselves.
Were you around horses growing up and what was your first racing memory?
I used to do a bit of pony riding. My first memory of racing was watching Dawn Run win at Cheltenham on the TV
When you were thinking about becoming a jockey, who did you admire?
First bad injury?
Collarbone… I was back within 3 weeks. The difference between falling on the turf and the All Weather is very different. If I fell like Silvester De Sousa did on the AW I would have been out for a lot longer. I had a fall on the AW gallop and it hurt a lot more than the turf!
Your first Cheltenham festival was Silver Jaro for Tom Hogan and across to Punchestown and win on Air Force One…
I remember thinking I had some nice rides that year at Cheltenham and went the first 3 days blank only to win on the final day on a longshot. Winning at Punchestown, which was great as all my family were in attendance
Do you think you were unlucky when you were riding as in the weighing room alongside you was AP, Ruby, Dicky Johnson?
No not really, there was always going to be one above you if you don’t win. To ride at the same time as them… Someone has to win… I was lucky.
You rode Master Minded to win the 2010 Tingle Creek and won the King George VI twice with Silviniaco Conti (2013,2014), which do you think was your finest?
I was more associated with Silviniaco Conti and to have won 2 King George’s is very special
Did you think it would have been nice to win the Grand National?
Obviously I would have liked to have won it but I didn’t start each season with it as a target, it’s a very hard race to win, although Davy Russell and Tiger Roll have made it look easy as Davy is a very good jockey on a very good horse…
You rode for 3 of the best trainers around, Paul Nicholls, Willie Mullins and Nicky Henderson….
I was very lucky and had some nice rides
You had a couple of rides on Altior, winning the Henry VII Novices Chase in 2016…
I rode him for his first 3 Chase runs and to be associated with a horse of his calibre was great
Nicky has said that Altior will be going up in trip this season, what are your thoughts having had a spin on board?
He is a lot older now and when I watched him last season, the further he went the better he became, so I can see no issue with it…
You won twice on the flat…. Did you ever think about a duel licence?
Yeah that was the National Hunt jockeys flat races… No I couldn’t have done the weight & I always wanted to be a National Hunt Jockey…
What have you been up to since you retired?
Since retiring from race riding in April I’ve worked hard on a new venture namely “Noel Fehily Racing” which is my new racehorse syndication business. I’m delighted to let you know that two horses are to be purchased for my first syndicate.
My long term friend and colleague David Crosse, who remains a licensed jockey, will be working alongside as an Ambassador for the business. Together we bring over 46 years of racing and bloodstock experience and feel we can give you the ultimate racing ownership package.
My goal is to give potential owners the experience of a lifetime and do things better that any other syndicate can offer. With my experience and contacts, owners will get the complete package and above all else winners.
The syndicate has 2 horses at the moment The Grey Scholar in training with Mark Bradstock & Pride Of Lecale in training with Fergal O’Brien.
For anymore information please contact – noelfehilyracing.com
We would like to thank Noel for his time and for all the memories he has given us all during his time in the saddle. We are sure he will bring winners in his syndicate and we look forward to seeing them on the track soon and in the winners enclosure.
Interview by Rich Williams
Photos – Main(Noel Fehily Website) Noel/Richard Johnson & Altior(Fran Altoft Photo) Silviniaco Conti(Daily Record)Dawn Run(File)