Jockey Mick Kinane Retires
Mick Kinane, whose profile has never been higher thanks to his stunningly successful partnership with Cartier Award winner Sea The Stars, has followed that brilliant colt into retirement, according to the Racing Post.
The 50-year-old jockey rebuffed questions on his future that inevitably arose when Sea The Stars signed off his dazzling career by winning his final race, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) at Longchamp in October.
The highly celebrated rider said at the time he wanted to fulfill commitments in South Africa and Japan, both of which are now gone, before entering into any decision about retirement, which has now been taken.
In a statement released to the Press Association, Kinane, who was named Flat Jockey of the Year at the Horserace Writers' and Photographers' Association awards Dec. 7, said: "I have decided this is the right time to retire from race riding.
"At 50, I still feel fit and sharp enough to do any horse justice but, after the season I have just had in partnership with Sea The Stars, I have the privilege of being able to end my career as a jockey on an incredible high and that's what I want to do.
"I leave with a huge sense of gratitude to all the great horses I have ridden, all the great trainers whose genius developed those champions and everybody else in racing, from the stable lads to the owners, who have made me deeply thankful for my involvement in the game.”
Kinane, who will still ride out for trainer John Oxx for the time being, added: "Teamwork is the key to success in racing and I have been blessed with some of the best alliances a jockey could have.
"The most important support of all throughout my career has, naturally, come from my wife, Catherine, along with my family and friends. Both Catherine and our two precious daughters, Sinead and Aisling, know how much they mean to me."
Sea The Stars provided Kinane with the perfect end to a glittering career that yielded numerous group I triumphs.
He won 10 English classics: the Epsom Derby with Commander In Chief (1993), Galileo (’01), and Sea The Stars; the Epsom Oaks with Shahtoush (’98) and Imagine (’01); the Two Thousand Guineas with Tirol (’90), Entrepreneur (’97), King of Kings (’98), and Sea The Stars; and the St. Leger with Milan (’01).
Domestically, Kinane was also highly successful, winning 14 Irish classics as well as a record seven Irish Champion Stakes. He was the leading rider in Ireland 13 times and was the leading rider.
Kinane's talent was not restricted to Britain and Ireland. Kinane can count three Prix de l'Arc de Triomphes, a Melbourne Cup (Aust-I), a Belmont Stakes (gr. I), and three victories at the Breeders Cup. His Belmont score came on Go and Go in 1990.
Kinane won the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) on Johannesburg. He rode High Chaparral to victory in the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) and was aboard that horse the following year in a dead-headed win with Johar in the Turf.
The son of Tommy Kinane, a leading jump jockey who won on Monksfield in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, England, he was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, June 22, 1959.
Mark Popham contributed to this article.
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