‘I’ve backed him already at 25-1’ – Trainer confident they’ll beat Galopin Des Champs 😲

Master McShee Corkery

Brian Sheerin of the Racing Post did a fantastic interview with Paddy Corkery on Monday and it is well worth a read. Based just outside Dungarvan in County Waterford, Corkery has a very small operation. However, he landed Grade 1 success with Master McShee at Limerick in the Faugheen Novice Chase at Limerick over the Christmas period.

Corkery is now out to prove that it was no flash in the pan as he will try to lower the colours of Galopin Des Champs in the Ladbrokes Novice Chase. This Grade 1 will be run on Sunday at 1.20pm Leopardstown and could attract a nice field.

Likely to be patiently ridden, Master McShee will play his cards late just like he did when beating Farouk D’Alene at Limerick. Whether he can produce a similar performance on much quicker ground is questionable, but it’s hard not to admire Corkery’s confidence nonetheless.

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Trainer Quotes

“If he’s in good form and he doesn’t burst,” Corkery says without blinking, “I think he’ll beat Galopin Des Champs. I have him backed already at 25-1 for Leopardstown. Galopin Des Champs will probably take off in front and we’ll try not to let him go too far. It’ll be some achievement if we beat him.”

“From the first time Ian sat on Master McShee,” Corkery says, “he told us he’d be a brilliant horse over a fence one day. Ian was right.”

“I made something very clear to Ian from day one and I told him I was always going to do what’s best for the horse and he must do what’s best for himself. I made no commitments to Ian and he made no commitments to me. If I wasn’t happy with what he was doing he wouldn’t be riding Master McShee. It’s as simple as that really.”

Master McShee

Master McShee

Is it time to retire?

Corkery, who when asked how old he is describes himself as of retiring age, says: “Normally in life, when a man is shoving on in years, he buys a set of golf clubs. I decided to train a few horses in my spare time. Up until two years ago, I was milking 100 cows, running the garage and doing my few horses. My son John has since taken over the farm.

“I used to buy and sell a lot of tractors and machinery as well but Brexit put an end to a lot of that. In 2004, I had six men working for me and, while I didn’t really mind that and I don’t usually do pressure, it was a pain in the arse. I still work in the garage and I nearly find three horses is too many for me at the minute. I’d be lost without the great help of regular exercise rider Jimmy Moloney.”

He adds: “Training the horses is like training a hurling team. I trained the local [youth] club, St Oliver’s, for years. We won under-16 and minor county championships. If I take on something that I like I do it right.

“I was also the chairman of the Geraldines for 12 years. There was nothing there when I took over. We spent €700,000 developing the grounds of the club during my time and, when I stepped down as chairman, there was €60,000 in the kitty.”

Should he have sold Master McShee?

“I think I’ve been justified in not selling my horse because I’ve won a Grade 1 with him and I still have him,” he says. “People don’t realise how short life is. No matter how good you are and no matter how much money you make, there’ll be money after you’re gone.

“Jane Mangan said on telly one day that it was great for Paddy Corkery that he didn’t have to sell his horse. What I said to Jane afterwards is that there’s a big difference between not having to and not wanting to.

“I have to sell him but I don’t want to. You wouldn’t buy the fun we’ve had with him and, if it was money I was after, I’d be milking 300 cows.”


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