Tag Archive for: Dave Roberts

Jockeys agent Dave Roberts announces retirement

Jockeys agent Dave Roberts – renowned for steering the stellar career of Sir Anthony McCoy – has announced he will retire at the end of the week.

Roberts has booked rides for a long list of household names – with four-times champion jockey Richard Johnson, plus Gold Cup and Grand National winners Adrian Maguire, Richard Guest and Andrew Thornton just a small sample of his client base.

However, Roberts is most famed for his partnership with 20-times champion McCoy, who smashed through record after record during his career in the saddle.

Roberts told Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast: “It’s been 36 years I’ve been doing the job now, right back from the first jockey, Dean Gallagher, through to now.

“I’ve always done my job saying I’d do it for 12 months and if you’re in for the season, you’re in for the season and the last couple of months I was just thinking ‘could I do another year of having 365 days of getting up at 5am every day?’

“I think the head said yes, but the body said no. Not that I ever thought I had much common sense, but I think common sense has told me to say this is time. It’s the right time.

“Obviously I’ve had a great time and probably feel slightly embarrassed about all the jockeys I’ve been able to deal with and the successes we’ve had. It’s an emotional time, but I think it’s definitely the right time.”

Richard Johnson was another of Roberts' clients
Richard Johnson was another of Roberts’ clients (Julian Herbert/PA)

Roberts has an extensive selection of riders under his remit at present, adding: “If you were including the conditionals, you would be looking at about 47 or 48 at the moment – probably slightly more even. If you said 50, you’re not going to be far off the mark. I think we did touch on 69 once which was quite an effort.

“I’ve always taken the view there’s a big gap in the market for someone who wishes to take up this job, as long as you’re prepared to put the hours in and commit to 365 days a year.”

McCoy is obviously the headline name among Roberts’ clients, with the agent firm in his belief that no one will match the rider’s achievements, partnering a record 4,358 winners during a career which encompassed success in virtually every major race in the National Hunt calendar.

Roberts said: “I’ve gone on record many times, no disrespect to any jockey that rides or starts riding, but I don’t think anybody will ever reach the figures that he reached. It was a very special era and a very special person and jockey who you were dealing with. It certainly won’t happen in my lifetime, I really don’t think so.”

Mountain Tunes was McCoy's 4,000th career success
Mountain Tunes was McCoy’s 4,000th career success (Rui Vieira/PA)

Unsurprisingly Roberts pinpointed a McCoy moment as a highlight of his long career, with the jockey’s 4,000th success aboard Mountain Tunes at Towcester on November 7, 2013 holding particular significance.

He added: “I think from a personal point of view, when Mountain Tunes won at Towcester, when AP won on that was probably the moment that would mean most to me.

“The day before my father passed away and I remember going, my son drove me there, and I went on to the course to see him, as I used to do when he broke records, and he just looked at me, looked up and said ‘that was for your dad’ and that really hit a nerve which I never forgot. My dad and AP McCoy were just two of the most influential men in my life.”