Reports18 March 2023

'I was doing it for the love of it' - Danny Burton retires from riding at the age of 36 to concentrate on young family

Danny Burton: retiring aged 36
Danny Burton: retiring aged 36Credit: Gerry Cranham

Conditional jockey Danny Burton called time on his riding career after helping Spike Jones justify 5-4 favouritism in the 3m2f handicap hurdle.

It was the third time Burton had won aboard the Sam Drinkwater-trained six-year-old but the 5lb claimer has retired from the saddle in order to spend more time with his family.

“It’s played in the back of my mind since the beginning of the year really,” said Burton. “I have a young family at home and I want to dedicate my time to them, I don’t see enough of them.

“This morning I was up at half five and I was away from the house by six. I haven’t seen my daughter wake up and I won’t see her go to bed because I’m still at Fontwell. 

“It’s days like this that make you think about your family. I wasn’t making a living with what I was doing, I was doing it for the love of it.”

Burton rode a career-best ten winners in the 2009-10 season when based with Chris Down but stepped away from professional riding in 2018. The 36-year-old returned to the weighing room after the sport resumed in June 2020 following the first Covid-19 lockdown.

Burton rode more of his 30 winners for Drinkwater than anyone else and added: “I’ve been in and out of the game for so many years with injuries and mental health issues but Sam Drinkwater was so good to me and kickstarted my career again."

Burton will remain with Drinkwater until at least the end of the season before embarking on a new venture assisting former weighing room colleague and friend Will Featherstone with his construction company.

Burton said: “Will sponsored me this year and he’s now looking for someone to help him out and make the business bigger so it seems like a good line for me to go to.

“Spike Jones is the one horse that stands out in my entire career. I ride him out at home, I ride him in his races. I know him inside out and today was just the right day because he gave me the best ride I’ve ever had off him. I couldn’t wish for any better send-off.”

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Published on 18 March 2023Last updated 20:08, 18 March 2023