Codd's Cheltenham joy
Two marvellous wins from three riders for Mayglass man
What a week it has been for Irish point-to-point champion jockey, Jamie Codd from Mayglass, now based in county Kildare, who had a really gruelling schedule that included two marvellous wins from three rides in the top amateur races at the Cheltenham Festival.
While it was a great week for Jamie on the major world stage that is Cheltenham, his efforts on the bread and butter local point-to-point scene did not work out quite as well.
On Tuesday he gave what many experts considered one of the rides of the Cheltenham Festival to get home on Cause of Causes for Gordon Elliott and J.P. McManus in the four-mile National Hunt Chase.
He followed up on Thursday with his third win in the Kim Muir Chase on The Package for top English trainer, David Pipe. Codd had previously won this in 2009 and 2011.
His third ride was in the Amateurs' Gold Cup on Friday, the Foxhunters Chase, where he was on board Vital Plot, trained by Liam Kenny from Craanford, but this one did not work out as well as planned and they finished in midfield, behind Nina Carbery on board On The Fringe.
Ironically, Vital Plot finished second to this one in the Punchestown Champion Hunters' Chase last April.
There were two other Wexford runners in this race - Noble Prince, a former Festival winner trained by Paul Nolan and ridden by Gerry Spain, was the best of them in eighth place, while Barry O'Neill on John P. Brennan's Need to Know was forced to pull up.
The only bad point in Codd's marvellous Cheltenham week was the fact that he picked up a harsh ten-day riding ban for his efforts on Cause of Causes, and this will certainly affect him in his ongoing battle with Derek O'Connor to retain his Irish point-to-point title.
Jamie arrived home in Kildare about midnight on Friday and he was up bright and early on Saturday morning to head for the North Down point-to-point meeting at Kirkistown.
His trip yielded one winner, matched by O'Connor to remain five ahead at that stage.
On Sunday he had five rides without success at the North Kilkenny point-to-point in Ballyraggett. He had no mount in the final race there, so he hopped into his car and skipped across country for the final bumper at Limerick races, where he ran well for a while but faded into fourth place.
In the meantime, Derek O'Connor was having two winners in the North Galway meeting at Tuam, Co. Galway, and he has now cemented his place at the top of the championship with 53 winners, with Codd on 46.
Jamie Codd demonstrated at Cheltenham once again just why he is considered one of the foremost amateur riders in these islands.