Racing shows heart at Limerick
Tony McCoy and JP McManus were among the winners as a special fundraising meeting at Limerick proved a huge success.
A crowd of over 10,500 descended on the Patrickswell circuit as trainers, jockeys, owners and racegoers looked to support the fixture, with money being raised for the Jockeys Emergency Fund and to support the rehabilitation efforts of JT McNamara and Jonjo Bright after their life-changing injuries.
McManus, who supplied McNamara with many big winners down the years, was aptly in the Limerick winner's enclosure as the Ronnie O'Leary-trained One Fine Morning (5/1) took the Bar One Racing Britain V Ireland Riders Challenge Handicap Chase under Alain Cawley.
McManus said: "It's a wonderful day and wonderful to be here.
"People are in great form and everyone is in a giving mood. I'm sure we'll see the benefits of it.
"Everyone has played their part at some level. A lot of people have put a lot of work into the day and there are thousands of people, who wouldn't normally be here on a Monday, who've made the effort to be here.
"JT is not here, but he's not forgotten.
"There was so much good will towards this day. We've had a marvellous day's racing and who ever imagined a Monday could be like this?"
One Fine Morning's win formed part of a five-race jump jockeys' challenge between riders based in Britain and those in Ireland, with the UK-based riders claiming victory by 131 points to 103.
McCoy, a good friend of McNamara, was seen at his brilliant best in the Paddy Power Supporting JT & Jonjo Britain V Ireland Riders Challenge Handicap Hurdle as he and 11/4 favourite Jansboy edged out Barry Geraghty and Friendly Society by a short-head.
McCoy said: "Obviously this day is for a great cause and it feels special to be able to ride a winner on a day like today because it's going to the two lads - Jonjo and John Thomas.
"It's all going to charity and while financially we're (the jockeys) not getting anything out of it, it actually feels special to be able to ride a winner here.
"To be part of the day is fantastic. Fair play to Limerick and Horse Racing Ireland and all the lads who organised it.
"It just shows how close the racing community is."
Richard Johnson and Nick Scholfield also rode winners for the British team.
Johnson struck aboard the Willie Mullins-trained Devils Bride (4/11 favourite) in the 'Rite Of Passage' Britain V Ireland Riders Challenge Maiden Hurdle, while Scholfield guided 5/1 favourite Mrs Mac Veale to victory in the ITBA & AOIR Britain V Ireland Riders Challenge Mares Handicap Hurdle.
Johnson said: "It's lovely to ride a winner and it's great to be here for everyone today.
"Everyone is here for the right reasons and hopefully we can do a bit of good."
Scholfield said: "I'm very thankful for the invitation over here. It's for a super cause and it's nice to get a good mare like that."
Wildcatted was a 16/1 winner of the "Hurricane Fly" & IRTA Britain v Ireland Riders Challenge Handicap Hurdle under Brian O'Connell.
The most eagerly-anticipated event of the afternoon was the Betfair Cash Out Flat & National Hunt Champion Jockeys Handicap.
With National Hunt stars like McCoy, Johnson and Ruby Walsh riding alongside Flat legends such as Pat Smullen, Kieren Fallon and Johnny Murtagh, in total the participating jockeys had ridden over 22,000 winners and had won upwards of 80 titles between them.
Crowned 'champion of champions' was Murtagh as he won aboard 2/1 favourite Goal, with Walsh in second on Flying Light.
Murtagh, dunked shortly afterwards by his colleagues in the water trough in the winner's enclosure, said: "It's a great day and you're seeing so many great jockeys. It's lovely to win."
Champion flat trainer Aidan O'Brien's Fairylike finished unplaced and afterwards he said: "We're delighted to be here. Everyone wants to tell the lads (Bright and McNamara) how much we are supporting them.
"I don't think this would happen anywhere else in the world. I don't think there's a day in any country in the world where you would see a race like that."
Sebadee (100/30) won the Boylesports Hunter Chase, while the concluding bumper went to 9/2 shot Voluptueux.
Over €250,000 was raised at the charity auction during the afternoon, but the total proceedings to be donated to Bright and McNamara is expected to far exceed that amount.