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Happy ending: Paul Burgoyne signs off training career with a winner

Paul Burgoyne (centre) celebrates Runaiocht’s success at Kempton with family and friends, including former jockey Richard Quinn (right)
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Paul Burgoyne has ended his training career the way he started it – with a winner.

A popular figure on racecourses in the south, especially around the all-weather tracks, Burgoyne has spent a lifetime getting the best out of mainly modest material but has chosen not to renew his licence at the end of the month.

His last runner, stable stalwart Runaiocht, justified strong support in a 7f handicap at Kempton earlier this month, nearly 37 years after his first runner, Long John, won a selling hurdle at Newton Abbot.

Irishman Burgoyne was apprenticed to Toby Balding and rode around 30 winners over jumps before embarking on a new career as a trainer in 1981. He enjoyed his best season in 2010 with ten winners, including four with Irene Kennet, a new arrival whom he improved more than 20lb, and three with Teen Ager, another bread-and-butter handicapper with whom he won eight races.

Irene Kennet: improved over 20lb under the care of Paul Burgoyne
Perhaps his most successful horse was West Leake, who was retired last April on reaching the '100 club', having won ten times for the stable.

Explaining why he is retiring he said: "I was down to the one horse and so I didn't really need to think too much about it. But I've enjoyed every minute of it and if I had the chance I'd do it all again.

"I've met some lovely people and had some very good owners. I've come across a few scoundrels on the way too, but you take the rough with the smooth and just get on with it. It's a hard game nowadays, but I'm not at all bitter about packing in and I'm now going to take it easy and do a bit of fishing."

He added: "I started with a winner and I've finished with a winner, and in between I raised my three kids through racing, so I've no complaints.

"I did fancy Runaiocht, and we won a few quid, but it was enough for lottery tickets for the next few weeks rather than enough to set me up for the rest of my days!"


Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com


 

I was down to the one horse and so I didn't need to think too much about it but I've enjoyed every minute and if I had the chance I'd do it all again
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