Eddie Jordan is a man for whom the expression ‘finger in many pies’ was surely invented.
The impresario is a Formula One team owner, giving his name to the Jordan Grand Prix team that competed in the sport for well over a decade, a businessman, a TV presenter and many other things besides.
Jordan handed Michael Schumacher his debut drive in F1, and at one time or another had Damon Hill, Nigel Mansell and the great Ayrton Senna on his books.
So the Irishman can definitely spot a winner when he sees one, and he’s taken that happy knack into horse racing too courtesy of his partnership with Mouse Morris.
The racehorse trainer has set up his stable in Jordan’s native Ireland, and he has even named his dog EJ – short for, well, you guessed it. “I named him after a mongrel, Eddie Jordan – it’s one mongrel after another,” Morris told a journalist from The Independent, before quickly adding, “he’s a friend of mine.”
Jordan still has an interest in F1, and his Jordan team was subsequently sold a number of times to become the Aston Martin outfit as we know it today. They continue to punch above their weight, and at the time of writing they are the ‘best of the rest’ in the sport behind the big four of Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren. Indeed, the constructors’ champion F1 betting odds for 2021 suggest they can break through into that elite company.
Aston Martin are taking a similar path to Jordan and Morris, for that matter – punching above their weight in an incredibly competitive sport.
Mouse By Name, Giant By Nature
Jordan is just one of a growing number of racehorse owners for whom Morris has acted as trainer.
John Magnier and JP McManus are on that list, and so too is Ryanair magnate Michael O’Leary, with whom Morris enjoyed one of his finest days in racing.
He trained Rule the World at his Everardsgrange facility, and the aptly-named horse would do exactly that when clinching success at the Grand National in April 2016.
Mind you, it was glory that you would have needed a crystal ball to foretell. Rule the World had never won a race over fences at the time of his triumph – in fact, he had never even set hoof onto the Aintree track until the morning of the National.
This is a horse that not once but twice overcame a fractured pelvis – an injury that can curtail a racing career, and that shows the extraordinary skill and patience of Morris to be able to turn a weakened horse into a winner of one of the most eagerly-desired races in the sport.
“You could not win it [the Grand National] with a nicer person or someone more deserving than Mouse,” O’Leary said afterwards.
It’s a story of almost Hollywood proportions as far as the unlikely journey of its star goes, and you suspect that if the movie-makers did make a biopic of Rule the World’s extraordinary tale, Morris would be the quiet, unassuming character in the background.