Jamie Spencer: Former champion jockey abandons plan to retire

Jamie Spencer
Spencer has won four classics

Two-time champion jockey Jamie Spencer has abandoned his plan to retire.

In August, he said he would quit at the end of the season after learning he would not be retained as the number one jockey at Qatar Racing Ltd.

The Irishman, 34, was expected to take a backroom role at the stables owned by Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, but he will now ride on a freelance basis.

"He appreciates that riding makes me happy and the last thing he wants to do is stand in the way," Spencer said.

"He fully understands and supports me. I am less concerned about what others may think or say.

"I will be riding primarily as a freelance, but obviously I have certain existing links and relationships with trainers that I will be utilising.

"I have no specific targets other than to continue to be successful."

Qatar Racing bloodstock manager David Redvers said: "Jamie is the consummate horseman and a good friend and we wish him every success.

"Should opportunities arise when our retained jockeys are not available then we would be delighted to use him."

Spencer rose to fame after winning the Irish 1,000 Guineas aboard Taracason in 1998, aged 17.

After claiming the Irish flat racing champion jockey crown in 2004, he moved to the UK and in 2005 became champion jockey for the first time with 180 winners.

In 2007, he shared the British crown with Seb Sanders, a contest that went down to the last day of the season.

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