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Monday, 22 October, 2018

Champion apprentice Martin Lane quits saddle for paradise island

Martin Lane: rode a winner at Chelmsford on Friday night
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Martin Lane, the 2010 champion apprentice who savoured top-level success on Sheikhzayedroad in the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes at Woodbine in 2014, has become the latest rider to quit the saddle.

Lane, who revealed the news on the Get In show on At The Races after riding a winner at Chelmsford on Friday night, joins a list that includes George Baker, although he was forced to retire due to injury, and Steve Drowne, while jump jockeys Mikey Forgarty, Stephen Clements and Will Featherstone have also recently decided not to continue their riding careers.

Lane, who rode 52 winners when leading apprentice seven years ago, recorded half-centuries another four times, but feels the time is right for a change and will head to Fiji for a role in the leisure industry.

Other career highlights include winning the Group 2 Skybet York Stakes on Sheikhzayedroad and the Hungerford Stakes on Breton Rock - two horses trained by David Simcock - and the John Smith's Cup on Wigmore Hall in 2010.

"After 13 years of race-riding I have decided to retire from my career in the saddle to pursue a new opportunity abroad," the 32-year-old said in a statement to the Racing Post. "It has been a difficult decision to make as racing has been a hugely important part of my life and something I have enjoyed immensely since I started my apprenticeship in 2005.

"There have been many highlights, none more so than partnering Sheikhzayedroad to Grade 1 success in Canada and winning the champion apprentice title in 2010. I have loved being part of the racing community and have made many great friendships along the way. I would like the thank all of the owners, trainers and stable staff for the great memories and I am particularly grateful to David and Jennie Simcock and to Charlie Appleby who have been my biggest supporters."

Lane's new role will be based on a private island in Fiji.

"In the new year I will be moving to Fiji to take up the role of operations manager at Vunabaka, a new resort development," he added. "Although it will be a massive change of pace to race-riding, I am very excited by the new opportunity and the next chapter in my life."


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