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Classic-winning jockey Ted Durcan announces retirement

Sun 18 Feb 2018

Classic-winning jockey Ted Durcan has announced his retirement after a highly-successful 25 years in the saddle.

The 44-year-old rode a host of big winners for most of the top trainers and was also champion jockey in Dubai on many occasions.

His two Classic triumphs came on Light Shift for Sir Henry Cecil in the Oaks at Epsom in 2007 and the St Leger at Doncaster on Mastery for Godolphin and Saeed bin Suroor in 2009.

County Mayo-born Durcan, who moved to Britain at Jack Berry's stables in 1997, will remain in the industry as part of Sir Michael Stoute's team at Newmarket.

He served his apprenticeship in Ireland with Jim Bolger, for whom he had his first winner, Nordic Pageant, at Fairyhouse in October 1992.

The last of his more than 1,000 winners was on Face The Facts for John Gosden in the Listed Rose Bowl Stakes at Newmarket in September.

"It's not something I've rushed into. It's been at the back of my mind for a while now," he said. "I'm 45 years old at the end of the month and I think it's the right time to move on.

"I've retired from race-riding, but I'm going to stay in the industry and continue my association with Sir Michael Stoute and his team, which I very much like.

Horse Racing - The Ladbrokes St. Leger Festival - The Ladbrokes St Leger Day - Doncaster Racecourse Durcan says "it's the right time to move on" (PA)

"I'm in my third year there and you're surrounded by some lovely horses and excellent staff as well. I help them out in any way I am able to and I'm also hoping to explore some other avenues in the industry as well.

"I find the breeding and bloodstock world fascinating and really interesting. That's an avenue I'd like to explore more.

"I've been riding since the age of 19. It's been absolutely super and a pleasure. I just think I'm at the right age to move on to something else."

Looking back on his career, Durcan pointed to the victory of Light Shift as standing out. It was one which propelled Cecil back into the big time and was hugely popular

He said: "I've been very lucky. Winning the Oaks on Light Shift has to be a highlight, and winning the St Leger was great.

"I had a great time riding in Dubai. I was lucky enough to spend 18 winters and was leading rider over there. It was a very lucky spot and like our second home. I'll always be grateful for that.

"Over the years I've been very lucky to ride for some marvellous people."

Durcan's first domestic Group One winner came for Tim Easterby on Somnus, who defeated Oasis Dream in the Haydock Sprint Cup in 2003.

Easterby said: "He was a fantastic jockey for me. He got on better with Somnus than anybody and he rode plenty of other winners for me, too.

"He's been a great jockey and became a good friend. He's a very good judge and very loyal.

"I'm sad that he's retiring, but I'd like to wish him well for the future."

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