Does Aidan Coleman have a retainer with J.P. McManus?
The short answer is no, he doesn’t. Following the shock retirement of Barry Geraghty – who had replaced A.P. McCoy as retained rider to J.P. McManus in Britain in 2015 – in July, 2020, Aidan Coleman was short-priced favourite to replace him. However, concerns were voiced, at the time, that Coleman might not represent the type of unrivalled appointment that McManus had favoured in the past. Even Coleman, himself, was keen to play down speculation linking him to the role. He said, ‘I’m very fortunate that I ride for a lot of people, I’m very busy and I ride a lot of nice horses. I’m just concentrating on myself and what will be, will be after that.’
Coleman was one of several jockeys – the others being Richie McLernon, Jonjo O’Neill Jnr. and Richard Johnson – frequently used by McManus in Geraghty’s enforced absence, due to a succession of injuries, in recent seasons. That said, aside from Geraghty and McLernon, no jockey has ridden more winners in McManus’ famous green and gold hooped silks during the last five seasons. The situation became a little clearer in November, 2020, when, while discussing riding plans for the Champion Hurdle winner Epatante, trainer Nicky Henderson said, ‘J.P. [McManus] has got a lot of horses and Aidan is going to be riding a few of them. There’s no retained jockey in this country.’ In the 2021/22 National Hunt season, so far, Coleman has ridden 17 winners, four of which have been for McManus.