Noel Fehily Tribute: Five of the Best

Features | 20th March 2019

This Saturday will see fan favourite and multiple Grade 1-winning rider Noel Fehily bow out from the sport at his adopted home track of Newbury.

Still riding at the very top of his game, Fehily is both hugely respected by his weighing room colleagues and appreciated by racing fans alike.

To celebrate the curtain coming down on his spectacular career, here’s our top five Noel Fehily rides.

Silviniaco Conti – 2013 King George VI Chase

Perhaps the partnership that he’ll be best associated with, Noel and Silviniaco Conti won a grand total of six Grade 1 races together; with the 2013 renewal of the King George VI Chase being their maiden win at the top.

Having previously been stuffed by Cue Card in the Betfair Chase at Haydock, Silviniaco Conti appeared to be on course for successive defeats before swallowing up a tired Cue Card in the final furlong.

Fehily would go on to comment that the big chestnut Chaser would forever hold a special place in his heart, “he was the first really good horse I got to ride regularly and was a very, very good horse for me. We had some great days.”

Rock On Ruby – 2012 Champion Hurdle

Fehily guided Rock On Ruby to Champion Hurdle glory in 2012 in what can be looked back on as a particularly classy renewal of the race; with former champions Binocular and Hurricane Fly both lining up.

Despite not being given much of a shout by learned pundits ahead of the race, Fehily and Rock on Ruby showed a lovely change of gear as they ploughed up the hill to land the spoils.

The victory was made all the more sweeter as Fehily had been forced to miss the previous two Festivals through injury.

Special Tiara – 2017 Queen Mother Champion Chase

A partnership that just took your breath away, Fehily and Special Tiara never lost the ability to astound and amaze with their bold front-running tactics.

Many had assumed the 2017 Champion Chase would be a procession for the previously unbeaten Douvan; the Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old was seeking a Cheltenham hat-trick and had appeared untouchable in the run up to the Festival.

But the hotpot failed to fire; with Fehily and Special Tiara able to pick up the pieces in thrilling fashion. The duo eventually scrambling home to beat the closing Fox Norton by a short-head; Fehily having judged his mount’s stamina levels to perfection.

Buveur D’Air – 2017 Champion Hurdle

Although the then 41-year-old Fehily isn’t best know for his partnership with the two-time Champion Hurdle winner the duo were hugely successful when paired; winning four of their seven starts. The 2017 renewal of Cheltenham’s premier Hurdle race saw the two of them to best effect.

Having travelled through the contest with little mishap, Fehily produced the classy six-year-old with supreme confidence as the pair rounded the home turn. The pair would go on to power up the Cheltenham Hill in good style, scoring ahead of stablemate My Tent Or Yours.

After the Champion Hurdle victory, Fehily was quick to point out how much he liked the horse, “Buveur D’air is a class animal. He’s been very good to me and I love him to bits.”

Summerville Boy – 2018 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

The  2018 Cheltenham Festival curtain raise was an absolute cracker and showed exactly why Noel Fehily is so revered by his peers.

As you can see in the jockey cam footage above, Fehily showed balance akin to a tightrope walker to simply stay in the saddle after his mount stumbled badly on landing two hurdles from home.

The shuddering error would have ended most jockey’s chances of victory, but the gritty rider displayed great strength and horsemanship to galvanise Summerville Boy all the way to the line to eventually beat Kalashnikov by a neck.