FLAT jockey Phillip Makin has announced his retirement from the saddle through injury and is going straight into the training ranks.
Makin broke a bone in his neck and hurt his back in a nasty fall from Eyecatcher at Redcar last August.
He has decided this is the right time to hang up his saddle and concentrate on his next career as a trainer at his Easingwold base.
“I don’t know how long I’d have left riding – probably four or five years.
“I had it at the back of my mind a little bit and it just accelerated with that fall,” he said.
“It was quite nasty. I don’t know if I could have come back. It just speeded up that process.
“The recovery was slow. It was very sore for a long time and I still am a little bit to some degree. It was mainly my back and my neck. I’d already done my back a few years previous, but it was a worse job this time.
“It was on the backburner a little bit before I got that fall. It was just a natural follow on that we got cracking really.”
Makin could have his first runner next week. “I got my licence 10 days ago. I didn’t have anything immediately to run, but hopefully by the end of the month we’ll have something,” he said.
“I made my first entry for Wednesday next week. There’s a horse at Southwell that might go there and there might be a horse at Doncaster for their first meeting.
“There’s about 23 at the minute. We’ve got space for quite a few more. It will keep us busy enough.”
Recalling some of his highlights in the saddle, he said: “My first Royal Ascot winner for Kevin Ryan in the Norfolk (on Batak Chinta in 2011) was special.
“More recently a four-timer on John Smith’s day at York was probably the highlight. It was an unbelievable day.”
Makin rode the first of more than 900 winners in 2002 and his best tally in a year was 111 in 2009.
His big-race successes included the Gimcrack Stakes on Blaine in 2012 and the Sky Bet York Stakes on Tullius in 2015.
A historic Helmsley stud farm once owned by racing legend Sir Henry Cecil has signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Thirsk Racecourse.
Cliff Stud will back the Thirsk Hunt Cup, the feature race of the year at the track, until at least 2021.
Businessman Paul Sutherland, who acquired the stud in 2017, said: “Hambleton has an incredible racing heritage, with many thriving training yards. We place owners and trainers at the heart of our business and we are very proud to be sponsoring a local, historic and high-profile race.”
The race was first run in 1859 with the intention of bringing together the country’s leading hunters. The first winner took home the princely sum of thirty sovereigns.
These days the race is a very competitive Flat handicap contest over one mile. The next renewal, which will have a £40,000 prize fund, is on May 4.
The best winner in recent years is Godolphin’s Farhh, who captured the 2012 race before recording Group One successes in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.
Bryony Frost is set to miss next month’s Grand National meeting at Aintree after confirming she broke her collarbone in a fall at Southwell on Monday.
Frost, who won the Ryanair Chase on the Paul Nicholls-trained Frodon at last week’s Cheltenham Festival, saw a specialist on Wednesday, two days after her fall from Midnight Bliss.