Jockey Paddy Brennan brought down the curtain on his 27-year career in the saddle when riding his 1,526th winner aboard Manothepeople in the Weatherite Air Conditioning Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on Wednesday.

The 9/1 chance, trained by Brennan’s long-time supporter Fergal O’Brien and running in the colours of The Fergal O’Brien Racing Partnership, came home a length and a half to the good over Moroder with the winning jockey saluting the crowd.

Explaining his decision to call it a day the 43-year-old, who had his first ride on the flat at the Curragh in 1997, said: “In 27 years, I’ve been so, so lucky. It has been a rollercoaster, so many ups and so many downs, but I feel I’ve got down to the edge of the ocean and walked down to the beach.

“I’ve been mulling it over for weeks and asked so many people’s opinions if I was doing the right thing. I went for a coffee with my wife this morning and thought it’s time for the next generation of jockeys.

“I am so pleased to have worked with the best in the game and I’m so proud of all the young lads in the weighing room. It’s a tough gig.

“It was extra special to finish on a winner here today. I thought my ace card today was Kamsinas and if I didn’t ride a winner today, I had a little chance tomorrow.

“When you drive past this place (Cheltenham Racecourse) to go shopping in Cheltenham it still gives you tingles even when it’s empty as it is that kind of place. The people make it extra special but even when they are not here it is unique. When all the Irish come here for the Festival it is like home from home.

“I think I’ve left my mark in the weighing room with plenty of shouting as I’m a strict kind of lad but I love them all.

“Being a jockey is 95% disappointment and I’ve had 95% disappointment for so many years. I’ve had some enjoyment but now I’m ready for the next chapter.”

Asked to name his career highlights, Brennan said: “Obviously there was Imperial Commander in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Cue Card, when we beat Vautour and Ruby Walsh (in the 2015 King George VI Chase at Kempton Park), is a race I’ll never ever forget. Getting him up that day was something I was very, very proud of.”

Looking to the future, Brennan continued: “When I usually go on holiday you are thinking about your next ride so I want a break from all that and I have a couple of things lined up. My phone number is there for anyone who wants to ring me and I’m ready for the future.”


2006 Shamayoun – Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

2007 Inglis Drever - Stayers’ Hurdle

2008 Ballyfitz - Pertemps Network Final

2009 Imperial Commander - Ryanair Chase

2010 Imperial Commander - Cheltenham Gold Cup

2010 Pigeon Island - Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Chase