Home » Cheltenham Fest star Burke’s dad, 66, becomes oldest winning jockey in 100 YEARS

Cheltenham Fest star Burke’s dad, 66, becomes oldest winning jockey in 100 YEARS

CHELTENHAM Festival star Johnny Burke’s dad has become the oldest winning jockey in 100 years in Ireland after recording a victory with Teuchters Glory.

Liam Burke, who turned 66 last week, last rode a winner all the way back in 1988.

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Liam Burke, 66, rides Teuchters Glory – and becomes the oldest jockey to land a winner in 100 years in IrelandCredit: (c)www.healyracing.ie
Burke is the oldest winning jockey in a century and only one other jockey in the race was born when he last rode a winner

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Burke is the oldest winning jockey in a century and only one other jockey in the race was born when he last rode a winnerCredit: (c)www.healyracing.ie

In 2021 he returned to the saddle, following a double knee replacement.

And he steered the bay gelding seven-year-old to success in the Good Luck To All Irish Runners In Cheltenham (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race finale at Limerick last Sunday.

The win makes Burke the second oldest winning jockey under Irish rules behind Harry Beasley, who at 71 won a maiden plate at Punchestown in 1923.

After the race, Burke said: “I have a lot more friends than I ever realised I had, I’ve had plenty of phone calls and messages which is nice. 

“I suffered a lot with my knees for a long time and I had both of them replaced, I was well overweight, and I had another problem, so I lost the weight, I rode out everyday and I just got back in the flow basically. 

“I wanted to ride again, and I wanted to ride a winner if I could. 

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“Luckily, It went grand, for once I didn’t do anything wrong, it might not look great now looking back at it, but the horse was good on the day.”

Burke’s success is even more incredible considering he came up against trainers Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott, who had Lucky Lyreen and Largy Hill running respectively.

And he even reminded racing fans that only jockey Jamie Codd was born when he last rode a winner.

He said: “It was great to beat Willie, Gordon and Jamie Codd! 

“I have ridden against one or two of them and finished a long way behind, but I managed to get the better of them on the day yesterday.

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“This is it, for my age, to be able to do that, I didn’t get tired and I didn’t do anything stupid, I didn’t fall off or anything like that, my knees didn’t give way so it ranks right up there with my other achievements.”

Burke is in two-minds whether he will continue to race.

“I’d like to be able to do it again, but a lot of people are saying to me, no stop, before you fall,” he concluded. 

“But I will see, I may go for a bumper again, but probably not, I have achieved what I set out to do and I don’t want to go out looking for trouble.” 

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Burke is the old man of Festival jockey Johnny, who will have some big rides in the week including Love Envoi in Tuesday’s Mares’ Hurdle.

He is also booked to ride the fancied Queens Gamble in Wednesday’s Champion Bumper and 20-1 Ga Law in the Ryanair.

Burke's old man proved he still has it by riding a winner aged 66

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Burke’s old man proved he still has it by riding a winner aged 66Credit: PA