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The Independent Online
Had One Man been around 20-odd years ago, the Gold Cup favourite might well have had Ron Barry on board for today's big race. It was as first jockey to One Man's Cumbrian trainer, Gordon Richards, that Barry made his name, as champion jockey in 1973, with a record 125 winners, and in 1974.

The Gold Cup provided Barry with his finest moment, although not on a Richards horse but The Dikler, on whom he beat Pendil by a short- head in 1973, for Fulke Walwyn. "It was a great Cheltenham for me," Barry said. "I was second in the Champion Hurdle as well.''

Born in Limerick, Barry rode 823 winners under Rules, retiring in 1983 to develop his stabling and kennels business, which still thrives. Now 53, he doubles as the Jockey Club's inspector of courses for the North of England, driving up to 50,000 miles a year, as he used to as a rider.

"The difference now is that I rarely sit on a horse," he said. "I don't have the time and riding is something you need to do every day, rather than once in a while. I hunt with the Ullswater - but with the foot pack."

Lake views provide the backdrop to Barry's home - only 10 minutes from the Richards yard at Greystoke - where he lives with his wife, Liz, and their two sons, Stuart, 17, and 19-year-old Michael. ``They are both keen rugby players with no interest in racing,'' he said. "But that suits me because watching rugby is my favourite pastime."

Jon Culley