Ian Mongan with Twice Over after their Juddmonte International successPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Jockey Ian Mongan announces retirement
IAN MONGAN, whose finest moment in the saddle came when he partnered Twice Over to victory in the Juddmonte International in 2011, has announced his retirement.
The jockey, who is married to Epsom trainer Laura Mongan, had four booked rides at Goodwood on Friday night but has called time on his career, saying it is getting tougher to manage his weight.
"It's a big decision," he said. "It's been on my mind for some time as I've not been a nice person to live with for a while now. The weight is harder to keep off as you get older.
"I'm comfortable having made the decision now but it wasn't easy. I was meant to be riding an odds-on favourite for Lady Cecil at Goodwood today but I woke up 9st 6lb and I had to do 9st. My weight's been an issue for a while now and that's just too much. It's better for them to have a jockey who's not had to waste to that extent."
Mongan, who has ridden two Royal Ascot winners, added: "I've had a fantastic time riding, but my career has reached a point where I feel comfortable with the decision. I've achieved everything I set out to.
"I've ridden 750-odd winners, won a Group 1, ridden winners at Royal Ascot, and I just don't have that hunger and dedication I used to and it's not fair to owners and trainers to turn up like that and ride their horses."
Mongan, 34, began riding in 1996 and recorded his best tally of winners in 2002 with 82. The following year he was crowned champion all-weather jockey.
He also became an important part of the set-up at Sir Henry Cecil's yard and rode 50 winners for the legendary trainer in the past five seasons.
It was Cecil who provided Mongan with his biggest win in the Juddmonte International at York in 2011 when Twice Over beat stablemate Midday, who was ridden by stable jockey Tom Queally.
"I'm so pleased Ian won a Group 1, I have always had a lot of faith in him," Cecil said after the race.
Mongan's weighing-room colleagues were quick to pay tribute.
Steve drowne (@drownie1) tweeted: "@ianmongan Sorry to hear that mate good luck with the future."
Luke Morris (@Luke_Morris88) added: "@ianmongan Best of luck mate."