/ Racing

Tom Doyle retires from riding ranks

Updated: Saturday, 02 Mar 2013 23:23 | Comments

Tom Doyle racked up a hat-trick of big-priced Grade One wins on Follow The Plan
Tom Doyle racked up a hat-trick of big-priced Grade One wins on Follow The Plan

Tom Doyle has called time on his career as a jockey after riding at Navan on Saturday.

The Cheltenham Festival-winning pilot decided to hang up his saddle for good after pulling up Zardsky in the Newgrange Handicap Chase.

Doyle, who spent eight years in Britain, said: "I've been riding 16 years and I've really enjoyed it but things have gone a bit quiet and the time has come to do something else.

"I've a few young horses at home and hopefully I'll have a few runners in point-to-points and see how we get on."

Doyle started his career as an amateur working for Dusty Sheehy and had his first winner on Blackburn in a Fairyhouse bumper in 1997.

He moved to England a few years later and made his mark in 2004 when partnering the Paul Webber-trained Patricksnineteenth to victory in the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase at Sandown.

Continued success in England also saw him win the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Final on Oscar Park for David Arbuthnot in 2007.

That summer Doyle returned home where he rode with success for a number of yards including Michael Bowe, Michael Hourigan and Oliver McKiernan.

He enjoyed a fabulous association with Follow The Plan, winning three Grade One races on board McKiernan’s charge, including the 2012 Betfred Bowl at Aintree.

Other big-race triumphs came on Moon Dice in the 2011 Galway Hurdle and on Trafford Lad for Sheehy in two Grade Ones, the Barry And Sandra Kelly Memorial Novice Hurdle and Drinmore Chase.

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