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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Hind: We've been together for 25 years and it's been a bit like a marriage

Jockey's longtime agent with a personal tribute

Jimmy Fortune and John Gosden were long-time allies
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Jimmy resurrected my career and I'd like to think I helped resurrect his. We've been together 25 years and it's been a bit like a marriage – good days and bad days, but a lot more of the former than the latter and lots and lots of great times together.

I was about to give it all up when I heard Jimmy was looking for an agent, as I was struggling to get rides for the jockeys I had on my books at that time. Jimmy wasn't exactly struggling, but he had gone from Mike O'Neill to Luca Cumani when Luca had Ray Cochrane, Frankie Dettori and Jason Weaver, and so one of them had to go.

When I heard Jimmy was looking for an agent and looked at his CV I got straight on the phone and it all stemmed from that – the retainer back up north with David Barron, the job with Jack and Lynda Ramsden after Kieren went to Henry Cecil, the retainer with Robert Sangster at Manton with Peter Chapple-Hyam, then all those years with John Gosden and all of the trainers and horses he's been associated with.

Jimmy is an absolute gentleman to deal with. He's also among the most respected riders in the weighing room among his peers, because he has everything. Besides being the man he is, he has always had enormous strength in the saddle, a fantastic racing brain with tactical awareness on so many levels, plus all of that experience.

It's a very sad day for me but all good things come to an end eventually and it was the right way to go – in a Group 1 for a trainer he very much admires.


Professional colleagues pay tribute 

Ryan Moore, jockey
He's been one of the best riders for the last 20 years. I've been close to Jimmy from when I started riding. I used to travel with him and I learned a lot from him, and he's always been very good to me. He's a great jockey and very popular in the weighing room. He'll be missed by all of us and a lot of trainers.

John Gosden, trainer and former employer
Jimmy's a wonderful jockey, great horseman, very honourable man and a great team player. He put in as much effort in a Group 1 today as he would in a handicap on a wet Monday somewhere. We enjoyed some great times together, particularly with Lucarno's win in the St Leger, and I was delighted to give him his final ride.

Frankie Dettori, jockey
I'm disappointed as I've lost another friend in the weighing room and Jimmy is a great guy. He was my apprentice when I was at Luca Cumani's and he was a wonderful jockey. He's had problems with his back, but it's great that he's retired with a smile on his face.

Robert Havlin, jockey
It's a sad day as Jimmy's one of my best friends in the weighing room. We enjoyed some great days together when we were at Peter Chapple-Hyam's at Manton. When I moved to Newmarket Jimmy stayed with me twice a week when he came up to ride out. He's obviously thought long and hard about the decision and I'll miss him a lot.

Peter Chapple-Hyam teamed up with Jimmy Fortune at Manton

Peter Chapple-Hyam, trainer and former employer
Jimmy's a lovely man and we had a lot of great fun together. It was a pleasure to have him ride for me and we've been very good friends ever since. He's a wonderful man and I've lots of happy memories.

Andrew Balding, trainer
Jimmy was stable jockey when I was at the Ramsdens, so I've known him a long time. He's a fabulous jockey and great to deal with. Everyone remarks on how strong a jockey he is in a finish, but he's also a very good horseman. He's always been a really reliable, good guy to have on your side and we enjoyed plenty of success together. He rode Tullius brilliantly and won good races on him.

Steve Drowne, jockey
It's the end of an era. Jimmy has had a great career and ridden many big winners. I know he's had some issues with his back and I'm delighted he's walking away in one piece.

Michael Hills, former jockey
Jimmy was very professional and a great rider, as strong a jockey as I rode against. He's a thoroughly nice guy and good fun in the weighing room. He was as popular as anyone, but always a great competitor in races.

He was as popular as anyone but always a great competitor in races
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