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‘I’ve had a unbelievable profession’: Gold Cup-winning jockey to retire after Grand Nationwide

Sam Waley Cohen and Long Run win the 2012 King George VI Chase at Kempton

Amateur National Hunt jockey Sam Waley-Cohen, who has enjoyed multiple successes at the highest echelons of the sport, has announced that he will retire from the saddle after his ride in the Grand National on Saturday (9 April).

Speaking to ITV Racing after pulling up in the Foxhunters’ Open Hunters’ Chase at Aintree this afternoon (7 April), he said: “I’ve had a fantastic career but Aintree means so much to me with the number of good days I’ve had here over the years, so it seems only right to retire here after my ride in the Grand National.”

Sam, who is 39, has enjoyed a huge amount of success as a jockey, in which he is only amateur by name, given he is a well-respected rider, and he has a total of 74 winners to his name under Rules.

He has four Cheltenham Festival victories to his name, including Long Run’s epic 2011 Gold Cup success, where he beat Kauto Star, becoming the first amateur jockey in 30 years to win the race. In the 2012 and 2013 runnings the combination finished third to Synchronised and Bobs Worth respectively. He also won the 2010 and 2012 King George VI Chase at Kempton aboard Long Run.

Sam is also the most successful jockey ever over the Grand National fences, with six victories to his name, and he was second in the National itself in 2011 when riding Oscar Time.

When not race-riding, Sam has worked hard building up his own dental care business since its inception in 2009. His business activities led to his being nominated as Spears young entrepreneur of the year in 2011, and by 2020, his business had grown to over 160 practices and expanded to operate across Europe.

Sam’s final ride will come aboard Noble Yeats, who is owned by Sam’s father Robert Waley-Cohen, in whose colours Sam has ridden throughout his career in the saddle, when the Grand National gets under way on Saturday at 5.15pm.

Keep up to date with all of Horse & Hound’s Grand National coverage this week via, where you will be able to read all of the latest news and features on the three-day meeting at Aintree.

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