Andrew McNamara trades race riding for training

Jockey retires from the saddle at the age of 32

Andrew McNamara with Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Newmill at Cheltenham in 2006. Photograph: Tim Graham/Getty Images

Andrew McNamara with Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Newmill at Cheltenham in 2006. Photograph: Tim Graham/Getty Images

 

Jockey Andrew McNamara has announced he is to retire from the saddle at the age of 32. A 15-times Grade One-winning rider, the Co Limerick pilot famously enjoyed victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase when Newmill scored for John Joseph Murphy at Cheltenham in 2006.

Other big wins came on the likes of Beef Or Salmon, Sizing Europe and Hidden Cyclone, and he exits the scene having been associated with some of the best and most popular horses around throughout his 16-year career.

McNamara, who will ride for the last time at Tramore this weekend, said: “I’d wanted to go out winning the Galway Hurdle on Hidden Cyclone, but I couldn’t do the weight.

“I’m renting stables at Dot Love’s yard. She is pre-training all the Gigginstown horses so the facilities are second to none. In that respect I’ll be better off than if I was starting off somewhere else on my own.”

“I bought four horses recently, but I imagine the first few years will be spent buying and selling until I get some owners.”

“I’ve absolutely loved it. Growing up I thought I’d be too big and heavy to be a jockey, but I’ve lived my dream.

“People might think I am retiring due to my brother Robbie’s and my cousin JT McNamara’s injuries, but I have had back trouble plaguing me and between my height and keeping my weight right, I am now moving on to what I always wanted to do – training.”

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