Richie McLernon is a highly rated jockey and works for trainer Jonjo O’Neill. Each season just keeps getting better for him and last season he finished up with a total of 20 winners, earning just over £205K for connections which he has already surpassed this season.
On his parents insistence, McLernon stayed in school until he was 18 and after leaving school worked with top point-to-point trainer Eugene O’Sullivan in Ireland before joining the team at Jackdaws Castle in the summer of 2007.
On the Jonjo o’Neill racing site, Richie says of Jackdaws: “I was amazed by the place. It was like arriving at a five-star hotel for horses – I couldn’t believe it.”
Richie’s biggest wins so far have been achieved courtesy of Can’t Buy Time in the totesport.com Masters Handicap Chase at Sandown in January 2009, Silmi, trained by Sophie Leech, in the Betfair Prelude Handicap Chase at Market Rasen in September, 2010 and back-to-back wins with Holywell at the Cheltenham Festivals in 2013 and 2014.
The ride on 16/1 Sunnyhillboy in the 2012 Grand National could be considered one of Richie’s biggest pairings to date as the horse, who was fresh off a fantastic win at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival, was just narrowly pipped to the post by Neptune Collonges to deny him the biggest win of his career. He had to settle for 2nd place in one of the closest wins in recent history!
He was back again in 2013 with the partnership renewed with Sunnyhillboy, despite carrying a bit more weight, McLernon was hoping that he could go one better and win it but it was not to be as he was unseated at the last fence.
For the 2014 Crabbies Grand National McLernon will be on board Twirling Magnet for trainer Jonjo O’Neill and though he may not have the shortest odds he’s till worth an each-way look.