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Financial pressure forces Grand National-winning jockey Powell to quit training

Brendan Powell: has saddled his final runner as a trainer
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Grand National-winning jockey Brendan Powell has saddled his final runner after a 19-year training career, citing financial pressure.

Powell, who rode Rhyme ‘n’ Reason to win the 1988 National, sent out more than 600 winners as a dual-purpose trainer and enjoyed international success with Dark Emerald.

Dark Emerald landed a maiden auction on his fourth start at Leicester and went on to strike twice at Meydan in 2015, including in the District One Handicap under Richard Mullen.

My Galliano provided Powell with a first winner as a trainer when landing a novice handicap hurdle at Kempton on November 15 in 2000, while his final victory came with Mr Andros – a three-time scorer for the yard – in a handicap at Lingfield on January 23.

Powell's last jumps success came with My Destiny, a 66-1 winner on his debut in a maiden hurdle at Fontwell on January 14. It was his second victory this jumps campaign, while the Lambourn trainer sent out 11 winners on the Flat last year. 

Rhyme 'n' Reason sprawling at the back in the Grand National that he went on to win under Brendan Powell

Powell, who saddled his last runner in January, said: "We've had a long talk with everyone and decided it was best to pull up stumps.

"I've got 15 or so horses in and it's not enough to keep going but I've enjoyed every minute of my training career and trained for some great people.

"Some lovely owners are with me now who have been since the start, we've had some great staff and that's the saddest thing about it with the horses going to other yards.

"I've had the best part of 1,500 winners as a trainer and jockey and I've had a lot of enjoyment out of seeing our kids do so well and riding winners.

"I've been very lucky and I'll definitely miss it but financially I just couldn't keep going with what I had."

Social media reaction

Robert Choc Thornton (@Choc_Thornton)
Sad news BP – hope all is well, never forget you looking after us kids one day at Perth and good luck with the future. 

Rebecca Menzies (@RebeccaEMenzies)
Happy retirement to Brendan Powell – always got time for a chat at the races, will miss him!

Matt Sheppard (@Shep84Matt)
Brendan Powell rode my first ever winner Seek The Faith at Chepstow in 1996. Top man for a chat and advice. Will be missed.

Fergal O'Brien Racing (@FOBRacing)
Wishing Brendan Powell all the best and very much hoping he’s not retiring from Twitter too?

Richard Farquhar (@RCFarquhar)
Wishing Brendan Powell a very happy retirement. I really hope that, given his huge experience as a jockey & trainer, his expertise & knowledge can be harnessed for the good of the racing game at a time when we all need more hands on experience involved in decision making in the sport

Sheila Bailey (SheilaMaryBaile)
I'm sure, like every owner in the yard, we wish Brendan Powell all the best for the future. And huge thanks for looking after our beloved horses and giving us some great memories.

Powell enjoyed his best year on the Flat in Britain in 2004 with 23 winners accruing more than £154,000 in prize-money, while he passed the half-century mark over jumps in the 2007-08 season when celebrating 53 winners.

Kasperenko provided Powell, who also won the Scottish National as a rider aboard Roll-A-Joint and Young Kenny, with Listed success in November when scoring in the 32Red Floodlit Stakes at Kempton under Martin Harley.

Dark Emerald: provided Powell with several memorable days at Meydan

Powell, 58, said: "We've had some great days over the years, including when Dark Emerald won a couple of races on our first trip to Dubai then was placed in a couple of Group races.

"I'd always wanted to go to Dubai and he did so well out there. He was beaten a neck on his first run and just thrived on the weather and routine out there.

"It was a great thrill to win a Listed race with Kasperenko in the winter and we've had some nice jumpers, but one who could have been anything was Colonel Frank, who got injured in the Racing Post Chase as a novice but could have been pretty special."

Powell, whose son Brendan rides over jumps and daughter Jenny used to compete on the Flat, hopes to continue in racing in another capacity.

He said: "I'm going to have a think about it and see but I intend to stay in racing and I'm not retiring as such. I hope to have quite a few years left in the sport – it's what I enjoy and love."



Full name Brendan Gerard Powell
Born October 14, 1960
First winner Button Boy (trainer Nick Ayliffe) Windsor, January 29, 1983
First big-race winner Mr Moonraker (1985 Welsh Novices' Championship Chase)
Grand National winner Rhyme 'N' Reason (1988)
Cheltenham Festival winners Private Views (1988 Cathcart Chase), Monsignor (1999 Champion Bumper)
Irish Champion Hurdle winner Nomadic Way (1990)
Mackeson Gold Cup winner Dublin Flyer (1995)
AF Budge/Tripleprint Gold Cup winners Pegwell Bay (1988), Dublin Flyer (1994)
Tingle Creek Chase winner Long Engagement (1989)
Scottish Grand National winners Roll-A-Joint (1989), Young Kenny (1999)
Tote Gold Trophy Hurdle winner Jamesmead (1988)
Other big-race winners as jockey Rhyme 'N' Reason (1988 Racing Post Chase), Sir Blake (1988 Mumm Prize Novices' Hurdle, Feltham Novices' Chase), Flying Ferret (1988 Motor Imports Chase), Roll-A-Joint (1989 John Hughes Grand National Trial), Panto Prince (1989 Haldon Gold Cup, 1990 South Western Pattern Chase, Badger Beer Chase, 1991 John Bull Chase, 1993 Badger Beer Chase), Barnbrook Again (1989 North Street Chase), Crystal Heights (1989 Finale Junior Hurdle), Black Sapphire (1992 Tote Jackpot Hurdle), Well Briefed (1994 Daily Telegraph Novices' Chase), Dublin Flyer (1995 John Hughes Memorial (Topham) Trophy, 1996 John Bull Chase, Peterborough Chase), Another Excuse (1996 Midlands Grand National), Amlah (1998 Galway Plate), Young Kenny (1999 Greenalls Grand National Trial, Midlands Grand National)
Final winner as jockey Gale Force, Kelso, May 24, 2000
Final mount Radar (3rd) Hereford, June 14, 2000
Highest position in jump jockeys' table 6th in 1988-89
Most wins in a season 64 in 1988-89
Total wins as jump jockey in Britain 603 in 19 seasons


Stables Morestead Stables, Morestead, Twyford, Hampshire 2000-07; Newlands Stables, Upper Lambourn 2007-15; Frenchmans Lodge, Upper Lambourn 2015-19
First winner as trainer My Galliano, Kempton, November 15, 2000
Biggest winners as trainer Colonel Frank (2004 Future Stars Chase, Sandown), Dark Emerald (2015 District One Handicap, Meydan), Kasperenko (2018 Floodlit Stakes, Kempton)
Last winner as trainer Mr Andros, Lingfield, January 23, 2019
Most wins in a season as trainer 53 (2007-08)
Total wins as trainer in Britain 633 (383 jumps, 250 Flat)

Compiled by John Randall

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Kasperenko provided Powell, who also won the Scottish National as a rider aboard Roll-A-Joint and Young Kenny, with Listed success in November

Key data

Brendan Powell
E.W. Terms
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