GBI RACING

Bryan Cooper excited for the future despite drawing blank at Ludlow

Bryan Cooper

Bryan Cooper will seize the opportunity as owner Alan Potts' retained rider in Britain after partnering his first two rides under the new arrangement at Ludlow on Wednesday.

It was announced on Tuesday that Cooper would take the British role, with Robbie Power continuing to ride Potts' Irish-based runners as he has done since the end of last season.

Cooper will be riding for Colin Tizzard, who trains Finian's Oscar and Fox Norton among others for Potts, and supplied the rider with his first two mounts at the Shropshire venue.

Exxaro marked the first ride of the new partnership but he finished last in the Rowles Fine Art Handicap Chase, while Mick Thonic unshipped Cooper with a couple of fences to jump in the Vera Davies Memorial Chase.

Cooper said: "They said it was quite a tight track here, but I've seen tighter in Ireland - it's not as tight as Kilbeggan or Tramore.

"It's a great opportunity, they have some fantastic horses and I'm looking forward to it. We'll take it week by week, but there's a lot of exciting horses.I'm over for a couple of days now and we'll take it as it comes. I'm there (at Tizzard's yard) in the morning to get a feel of the place.

"I rode some fantastic horses for Gigginstown and I had probably the best four years of my career so far. I'm just grateful I can get on some more very good horses and to me it's all about the big days.

"I'll be based in Ireland, Ruby (Walsh) and Barry (Geraghty) did it for many years and I don't see why I can't do it. We'll give it a go and see how we get on. I had a good chat with Ruby and he said to enjoy it. I'm only 25 and it's exciting times."

Power partnered the Jessica Harrington-trained Sizing John to Cheltenham Gold Cup glory in March, with that victory prompting his initial link up with Potts.

While Cooper expects Power to again be in the driving seat on the reigning champion, he has not totally given up hope of getting the leg up come the big day at the Festival.

Cooper told Racing UK: "He's Jessie's rider and I'm Colin's rider, that's the way it stands unless he switches to Our Duke. If they both get there in March, he's got a fair choice to make. I know how he feels, so it's great times for him as well."

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