This highly rated Irish jockey from Macroom, Co Cork, is in big demand, with several trainers fighting for his services but it has taken him about 15 years to become an overnight success!
Fehily began life as a jockey as many jockey’s before him have done, gaining his experience on the point to point circuit. Moving on to hunter chases, he realised this was the career he wanted and he moved to the UK where, riding as an amateur, he had his first win at Plumpton, riding Ivy Boy on the 16th Nov 1998.
During his first campaign he rode 12 winners and after riding two more in the following season, he turned professional, finally finishing that season with 17 winners.
Noel became Jonjo O’Neill’s second jockey in November 2005 while at the same time continuing to ride for trainer Charlie Mann. His biggest success for Mann, was on Air Force One in the Grade 1 Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown in 2008.
Fehily picked up some rides for Paul Nicholls when Ruby Walsh was sidelined with injuries and during this period he rode 17 winners and continues to ride regularly for Nicholls. He continued to progress as a jockey and he finished fourth in the Jockeys’ table in 2009 with 89 winners.
Noel’s best finish in the Grand National to date, was in 2006, when he finished in 5th position riding Risk Accessor.
On Saturday 18 February 2012 Noel was appointed as the new first jockey to Emma Lavelle and began his duties with two rides for the trainer at Ascot. Emma Lavelle is reported to have said “Noel recently became available and I’m delighted to say he’s riding as first jockey for us as from today. He’s a fantastic jockey and we have worked well together in the past.”
Evan Williams booked Noel Fehily to ride State of Play in the John Smith Grand National on 14th April 2012. Despite being 12 years old, hopes were high for a place but it was not to be and Fehily only managed to get to fence 5 before being unseated.
At the last minute, Andrew Lynch got injured and couldn’t partner Treacle in the 2013 Grand National so Noel Fehily stepped in but was unfortunately one of the first to go when unseated at the the Canal Turn on the first circuit.