EVAN Williams paid tribute to his long-standing stable jockey Paul Moloney following the jump jockey announced his retirement following his latest injury.
Co Tipperary-born Moloney, 38, has decided to call it a day after a 20-year career that yielded more than 800 winners. He has been sidelined since he damaged a shoulder in a fall from Going Concern at Sedgefield on January 29th.
Moloney spent most of his riding days with Williams' Welsh stable. They had their first big-race success with State Of Play in the 2006 Hennessy Gold Cup and went on to enjoy other notable victories with horses as such as Deep Purple, Barizan, Court Minstrel and Buywise.
They also combined to finish in the first four in five consecutive Grand Nationals from 2009 to 2013 with State Of Play and Cappa Bleu. Moloney went on to achieve further two fourth places in the world's greatest steeplechzase on Alvarado in 2014 and 2015.
"It's a big disappointment to the yard because we've had a wonderful association but looking on the bright side it's the right move," said Williams.
"Although we've had wonderful days, there comes a stage when you have to think of your family and it's great he's getting on with the rest of his life.
"It's a big blow to the yard because he's been such a wonderful man to work with. We both found each other at the right time of our careers. I was starting and he was coming over from Ireland. We had a wonderful working relationship and some great days. He's won me a couple of Charlie Halls, a Hennessy and Peterborough Chases."
"He's ridden me loads of winners, but more importantly he's been a thorough professional in all ways and one of the best horsemen I've every seen. They don't make them in that mould any more. I've enjoyed every single second working with him. We're all behind his retirement because it's the right thing for him and his family."
"Fingers crossed he can get on with the rest of his life and we've got so many happy memories. He was such a pleasure to work with."