County of origin: Kildare
First winner: Dromineer (Ruby Walsh) Killarney, May 18, 1996
Final winner: Goose Man (Mr Pat Taaffe) Down Royal, March 17, 2021
Significant horses: Kicking King, Finger Onthe Pulse, Ninetieth Minute, Delphi Lodge, Emotional Moment, Solar System, Merdeka, Glenfinn Captain, Cane Brake, Tumbling Dice, In The High Grass, Treacle, Argocat, Peoples Park, Riders Onthe Storm, Merdeka, Heaney, Smoking Aces, Bank Statement, Lady Of Kildare.
Did you know:
Tom Taaffe rode at the highest level as a jockey, enjoying over 400 winners and his 27-training career was highlighted by the success of Kicking King in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2005.
Tom comes from one of Ireland's best-known
National Hunt families - his grandfather, also Tom, trained the 1958 Aintree
Grand National winner Mr What and his own late father Pat rode the
mighty Arkle and also trained many Grade 1 winners including Captain Christy,
winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and twice the winner of the King George VI
Tom enjoyed a fine career as a jockey himself, enjoying no shortage of
big-race success, many of them shared with Arthur Moore. One of his biggest wins as a jockey came on Brittany Boy in
the 1987 Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.
After retiring from the saddle, Tom began training in 1994.
One of his first big winners was Delphi Lodge in the 1998 Power Gold Cup at the
Fairyhouse Easter Meeting but his greatest success came at the Cheltenham
Festival where he was a three-time winner.
In 2005, Kicking King landed the Bulmers Cheltenham Gold Cup with Barry
Geraghty in the saddle. Three years later, Finger Onthe Pulse (Barry Geraghty)
won the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase and in 2009 Ninetieth Minute
(Paddy Flood) landed the Coral Cup. Kicking King also won the 2004 and 2005
King George VI Chase at Kempton.
Tom won four Grade 1 chases in Ireland with Delphi Lodge claiming the Powers Gold Cup in 1998 and Kicking King winning the Baileys Arkle Perpetual Challenge Cup Novice Chase and the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase in 2004 and the Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup the following year.
Argocat, Glenfinn Captain, Tumbling Dice, Merdeka, Emotional Moment and Bank Statement were all winners for Taaffe at Grade 2 level while the likes of Champagne Native, Mr Baxter Basics and Verrazano Bridge were among the stable's other notable winners.
In addition to his Cheltenham Festival success, Finger Onthe Pulse also won the Galway Plate in 2010. The Pat Smullen-ridden Lady Of Kildare was a high-profile winner on the Flat for Taaffe in the Listed Go And Go Round Tower Stakes at the Curragh in 2000.
In March 2021, Taaffe announced that he wouldn't be renewing his licence and was exiting the training ranks. His final winner, Goose Man, in the Bluegrass Horse Feeds Chase at Down Royal on March 17, 2021, was ridden by his son Pat.