Aidan Coleman: Career Profile

Aidan Coleman will be looking for a change of luck in Saturday's Aintree Grand National
Aidan Coleman will be looking for a change of luck in Saturday's Aintree Grand National
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Russell Smith concludes his look at the big-race jockeys set to ride in this week's Grand National, and today he profiles the career of a so far 'unlucky' Aidan Coleman...


"He won't be short of confidence, though, as he's been enjoying his best season to date. Having notched up his first century of winners, he stands second in the jockeys' table behind champion-elect Richard Johnson."

If there's one jockey who could be forgiven for feeling that the Grand National gods have conspired against him then it's probably Aidan Coleman.

Having taken up the running on The Druids Nephew at Valentine's Brook the second time around in last year's Crabbie's-sponsored marathon, nothing appeared to be going better.

But at the next fence - five from home - the Neil Mulholland-trained nine-year-old pitched on landing and slithered to the ground in agonising fashion, firing Coleman into the turf.

It's not the first time the 27-year-old has been left to rue what might have been when it comes to the Aintree spectacular.

Seven years ago as stable jockey to Venetia Williams's Aramstone yard at Kings Caple in Herefordshire, the Irishman elected to pass over Mon Mome, having finished 10th on him on his first ride in the Aintree spectacular 12 months earlier, in favour of Stan.

The rest, as they say, is history as Mon Mome galloped to glory at 100/1 under Liam Treadwell, while Coleman's race ended at the seventh fence.

A year later, Coleman was back on the defending champion, but his mount fell five from home when still in touch as Don't Push It ended Tony McCoy's 15-year wait for a first National winner.

One final challenge on Mon Mome came in 2012, but age was catching up with the former winner, and Coleman pulled him up at the 22nd fence.

While his mount for Saturday's Grand National Is still to be confirmed, he'll certainly be looking for a change of fortune.

He won't be short of confidence, though, as he's been enjoying his best season to date. Having notched up his first century of winners, he stands second in the jockeys' table behind champion-elect Richard Johnson.

Unlike many of his weighing room colleagues, Coleman doesn't hail from a racing background with his parents both teachers.

But growing up in Innishannon in County Cork he was able to surround himself with horses and was a leading rider on the pony-racing circuit.

That inspired him to become a jockey and after completing his leaving certificate at school, he followed his elder brother, Kevin, who won the 2007 Galway Plate on Sir Frederick, into race-riding.

He moved to England in 2006, starting his career at Henrietta Knight's West Lockinge stables, near Wantage, before, on her recommendation, joining Williams.

He became champion conditional jockey in 2008/09 with 55 winners, notching his first Cheltenham Festival triumph in the same season aboard Kayf Aramis in the Pertemps Final for his boss.

Emperor's Choice, also trained by Williams, provided Coleman with a Coral Welsh National triumph at Chepstow in 2014 when getting the better of a thrilling battle with Benvolio by a short head.

This season, his career received a boost when he was appointed stable jockey to John Ferguson's Bloomfields operation while also continuing his association with Williams.

He quickly forged a successful partnership with the Newmarket handler, and so it came as a blow when Ferguson announced he would be quitting training at the end of the season to become Godolphin's new chief executive and racing manager.

Coleman also hit the headlines in September when he was allegedly punched after two racegoers burst into the weighing room at Southwell. After suffering minor injuries, including two chipped teeth, four people were arrested in total, but he opted not to press charges.

On the track he ended a seven-year wait for a second Cheltenham Festival success by landing the Glenfarclas Chase over the cross country course on Any Currency for trainer Martin Keighley.

Now he'll be hoping that his Aintree luck is about to change.


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