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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

'You can't stop mother nature' – Josh Doyle quits saddle due to weight issues

Josh Doyle: rode 56 winners since joining David O'Meara in 2013
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Josh Doyle has called time on his career as a jockey, citing the ongoing battle with the scales as a decisive factor.

The apprentice, who was based with powerful trainer David O'Meara on the outskirts of York, is not the first rider to struggle with his weight but he has become tired of the extremes measures he would use to defy nature.

"I've finished riding as it became tough, both mentally and physically," said Doyle, who at 5ft 10" is tall for a Flat jockey.

"I would be riding one day, have two or three days off and then my weight would shoot back up again. I'd be running with sweatsuits on, wearing them in the car and sweating in baths. I did it all – but you can't stop mother nature."

One rasher or two: what do jockeys eat to make the weight?

The 22-year-old, who graduated from pony racing and showjumping in Ireland where he had a handful of rides for Willie McCreery, got his claim down to 3lb after riding 56 winners since joining O'Meara in 2013.

"David has been very good to me, he understood my decision to stop and I'm still riding out for him," said Doyle, whose first career success came aboard Carraroe Flyer at Ayr in June 2014.

Reflecting on the high points of his short career, he said: "I have good memories of riding Edward Lewis as he took me to the big sprint handicaps at the Derby meeting at Epsom, Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood. I also used to like riding at Beverley as I had a good strike-rate there [23%; 10-44]."

Doyle, who has not ridden under rules this year, has been preparing himself for a possible new career in construction.

"I live with a builder so I've been doing some building work on the side," he said. "I've done my trailer and digger tests and am thinking of going down that route." 

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I'd be running with sweatsuits on, wearing them in the car and sweating in baths
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