© Photo Healy Racing
Jockey Phillip Makin has announced his retirement from the saddle through injury and is going straight into the training ranks.
Makin broke a bone in his neck and hurt his back in a nasty fall from Eyecatcher at Redcar in August, and has decided this was the right time to hang up his saddle and concentrate on his next career as a trainer at his North Yorkshire base.
“I don’t know how long I’d have left riding — probably four or five years. I had it at the back of my mind a little bit and it just accelerated with that fall,” Makin told Sky Sports Racing.
“It was quite nasty. I don’t know if I could have come back. It just speeded up that process.
“The recovery was slow. It was very sore for a long time and I still am a little bit to some degree. It was mainly my back and my neck. I’d already done my back a few years previous, but it was a worse job this time.
“It was on the back-burner a little bit before I got that fall. It was just a natural follow on that we got cracking really.”
Makin could have his first runner next week.
“I got my licence 10 days ago. I didn’t have anything immediately to run, but hopefully by the end of the month we’ll have something,” he said.
“I made my first entry for Wednesday next week. There’s a horse at Southwell that might go there and there might be a horse at Doncaster for their first meeting.
“There’s about 23 at the minute. We’ve got space for quite a few more. It will keep us busy enough.”
He recalled some of his highlights in the saddle.
“My first Royal Ascot winner for Kevin Ryan in the Norfolk (on Batak Chinta in 2011) was special,” he said.
“More recently a four-timer on John Smith’s day at York was probably the highlight. It was an unbelievable day.”
Makin rode the first of more than 900 winners in 2002 and his best every tally in a year was 111 in 2009.
His big-race successes included the Gimcrack Stakes on Blaine in 2012 and the Sky Bet York Stakes on Tullius in 2015.