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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Lack of opportunities leads to Alison deciding time is right to hang up saddle

Nathan Alison: hanging up his saddle
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A lack of opportunities combined with impending fatherhood has led Nathan Alison to call time on his career, although he is staying in the industry about which he is still passionate.

Alison, 27, made great strides as an apprentice when claiming 7lb and 5lb, but after reducing his claim to 3lb chances dwindled and he was winless in 2016 and 2017 from a total of 37 rides.

Having announced his decision on Twitter, Alison said on Friday: "The rides have dried up and I've got to look to the future. I got married in June and my wife's pregnant so I couldn't do it anymore financially.

"The love is still there but going for one ride to Newcastle doesn't cover my costs. It's a shame as I had a really promising start to my career and I wouldn't have changed anything.

"When you have a 5lb and 7lb claim trainers want to use you but when you have a 3lb claim it's having that stable that will still support you but unfortunately it dried up."

Nathan Alison aboard Sun Quest
Alison is part of the stable staff for Newmarket trainer Ismail Mohammed, and still enjoys being within racing as he added: "I work full-time and still ride out and muck out. It's a massive shame as I love the sport and still have the same enthusiasm."

Prior to joining Mohammed, Alison was with William Haggas having started out with Jim Boyle, and he thanked the trainers for their support.

"I can't thank Jim Boyle enough," Alison said. "I hold him in high regard, he's a quality trainer. Mr Haggas gave me the chance to ride some really nice horses and trusted me to ride for some big owners and helped me reduce my claim."

The news comes in the same week 20-year-old Henry Morshead announced he was quitting the sport to go to university, claiming that working in racing was "like living in a goldfish bowl".

Asked on his career highlights, Alison nominated Sky Quest, who gave him his first winner in December 2008, and also a victory on his 18th birthday at Newbury the following summer as two of his most memorable moments.

Boyle paid tribute to Alison's accomplishments on Friday, and said: "Nathan turned up on our doorstep as a very green teenager, having never touched a horse. He had a great attitude and was a really good guy.

"We got him going and to get to where he did from scratch is a testament to his work ethic and dedication. It's a shame he couldn't take it to the next level, but he should be very proud of himself and I wish him all the best in his future career."

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It's a massive shame as I love the sport and still have the same enthusiasm
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