Posted: 22nd Feb 2016
Ralph Beckett had been without a stable jockey since August 2014PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
RALPH BECKETT announced on Monday that Fran Berry, one of Ireland's most successful riders, will join his yard as first jockey for the 2016 season.
Beckett told the Racing Post: "We're really looking forward to it. Fran's a vastly experienced rider, a very sympathetic horseman, and at 35 he's still very much in his prime.
"It just seemed like a good fit for us. We've been without a stable jockey for 18 months."
Fran Berry fills the void left by Jim Crowley's decision to turn freelance in 2014, and he is relocating to England with his family as part of the move, though still intends to maintain links in Ireland and ride on Sundays.
Berry told the Racing Post: "I gave it a lot of thought as I have a wife and young son but Ralph had a very good year last year and to give England a go was just was an attractive offer.
"It is upheaval for my family, a changed lifestyle with a higher volume of racing, but we are well aware. Tony Hind, my agent, will be looking after me but I am giving it 110 per cent, it's a fresh start and the challenge excites me. I will be looking for as many outside rides as I can get too.
"Ralph has an expanding team from a very nice base. I had never really considered a move to England before - nothing to this level had every come up before."
Paddy Power make Berry a 6-4 chance to ride 60 or more winners in Britain in 2016, and 100-1 for the 2016 British Flat jockeys' title.
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