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Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Denman's rider Sam Thomas considering a return to the weighing room

Denman and Sam Thomas win the Gold Cup in 2008
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Former jockey turned trainer Sam Thomas, who found fame for his partnership with Denman, is considering a return to the saddle after showing he has lost no riding prowess when winning the charity flat race at Chepstow on Saturday.

Thomas, 33, looked as if he would have to settle for second spot aboard Maoi Chinn Tire after cutting out much of the running but the combination rallied in the gamest fashion to get back up in the dying strides to beat Brahms De Clermont by a short head.

After the success, Thomas, who will continue to prioritise his training career in Lambourn, admitted he might well make a comeback as a jockey. He said: "I really enjoyed myself out there and it's good to be back with a winner and supporting the Reuben Foundation which is the charity the race was run to raise money for.

"I have to admit that it's been going around my head recently about a return to riding and making a comeback to the saddle. I'm still young enough and I'm actually lighter now than when I was riding."

Thomas enjoyed a hugely successful alliance with Denman, most famously at the 2008 Cheltenham Festival when they defeated the reigning Gold Cup champion Kauto Star with a punishing display of stamina and power. 

However, Thomas was unable to build on his career-best total of 88 wins that season and has not ridden regularly since the 2013-14 season. He last rode competitively in December 2015.

Thomas added: "I think I'm going to give it some serious consideration. So it's a question of watch this space at the moment.

"As things stand training is obviously my number one priority as we have some very nice horses to run in the near future and I have to concentrate on that, but it would be nice to get the chance to ride again as I thoroughly enjoyed this spin around Chepstow."

I have to admit that it's been going around my head recently about a return to riding and making a comeback to the saddle

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