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Brendan Powell was enjoying increased popularity in the weighing room at Hereford today as the curtain finally came down on his career in the saddle.

"I've never known anything like it," he grinned. "Everyone likes me at the moment - I think they're all hoping to get a ride when I start training."

Powell, 39, a winner of the 1989 Grand National on Rhyme N' Reason will quickly join the training ranks and is hoping to have runners by the middle of next month.

There was to be no glorious swansong for the jockey who registered the first of more than 600 successes from some 7,000 rides when Button Boy obliged at Windsor in 1983.

Powell's parents had made the trip across the Irish Sea and wife Rachel, daughter Jenny and son Brendan were also in attendance.

But there was disappointment for the family as the jockey's four mounts failed to rise to the occasion.

Sunburnt and Coolree Lad were both pulled up while Primitive Star and his last ride Radar were both well beaten in third.

Powell had been presented with a bottle of champagne and a bottle of coke - he is teetotal - before being legged up for the final time.

It quickly became evident that Radar, the first runner for the former England boss Bobby Robson, had not read the script.

He was soon being scrubbed along by Powell and although running on at the end was well behind the easy winner L S Lowry.

"Radar was a bit disappointing but none of the trainers has given me a rollicking none have sacked me," said Powell.

"I've had a great day and the lads have given me a great send off.

"I could have ridden Gale Force for Peter Beaumont tomorrow and I think he could win.

"It will be tough watching them go round at Uttoxeter tomorrow and I never really wanted to give up but I had to end it somewhere and I've got plenty to do over the next 10 days.

"I came over as an amateur to ride for Jenny Pitman and I well remember my first ride Another Fred breaking a leg in a hunter chase.

"My second ride also didn't go well but I'm glad I stuck it out in the end.

"I've been lucky enough to have ridden for some of the best trainers around.

"I have had one or two bad falls but I've been pretty lucky really and there haven't been that many bad days."

Powell's mother Sheila said: "Brendan's last fall in November was a bad one so it's something of a relief that he's finishing in one piece and still riding well.

Father Benny said: "He still has the second most rides after Richard Dunwoody of any jockey riding in Britain and that's not a bad achievement.

"He still hasn't done as well as his great uncle Paddy who kept riding until he was 62!

"But if he can train horses as well as he can ride them that will be a great achievement."

Powell will be working hard in the coming weeks to establish himself as a trainer.

He is expecting to move into a base at Twyford, near Winchester, by the end of the month.

Powell will be completing the Jockey Club trainers' course at the end of the month.

"It will be up to the Jockey Club but I would like to think I will be having my first runners by the middle of July," he said.

"Gerry Hogan is looking for horses for me in Ireland but I don't want to buy horses myself - that's the quickest way to go broke.

"I will try to get a couple of decent horses to get me going. It's a tough game - there is so much paperwork I have to get myself a secretary - but as long as I can make it pay I'll be happy."

Great pal Adrian Maguire admitted that he is slightly worried about working for Powell as a trainer.

"I don't think he's going to be the easiest man to ride for as a trainer," he said. "Knowing Brendan I know he will want the job professionally.

"But seriously he's going to be a big miss in the weighing room as well as a travelling companion to the races.

"I've known Brendan for a long time. I was his best man when he married Rachel and he was my best man when I married Sabrina.

"I well remember the four of us having a great time when we went to Hong Kong after Brendan's wedding.

"I was just starting out when Scu retired and I thought he would be a big loss and it will be the same with Brendan.

"He's been a great man with the younger jockeys helping them and arranging lifts for them."

Tony McCoy said: "It's very sad that he's finishing. He was the senior member of the weighing room - someone a lot of the younger lads including myself could look up to."

"We are all looked to him for advice - and he was very like Brad, always keen to help.

"He was a great rider in every way and will be greatly missed in the weighing room as he was a great friend to us all.

"We wish him the very best in his training career - and speaking for myself I hope he won't forget me when he's looking for jockeys."

Trainer Bob Buckler enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Powell that began at Hereford.

"Brendan had his first ride for me in a novice chase on Carbonate and the horse won. I've used him regularly ever since," he said.

"We've had some great times together and Brendan came down regularly to stay with us. I was aiming to have one for him in the novice chase but I couldn't get the horse ready in time.

"It's a shame to see him go. Only the other week he rode a novice like a brain dead 15-year-old. With riding like that it's hard to see why he's retiring."