Tom Messenger retires from saddle at Fakenham

Tom Messenger: finished third on the final ride of his career

Tom Messenger in the winner’s enclosure following his final ride

TOM MESSENGER is to embark on a new chapter in his career, as the jump jockey ended his time in the saddle at Fakenham on Sunday.

Messenger, 30, was unable to sign off with a winner as his final ride, Fort Gabriel, finished third in the 3m handicap chase, and he will now start his new role as assistant to Dan Skelton.

Reflecting on his time as a jockey, Messenger said: “I’m sad to be packing up but I have thought about it for a while. I’ve never wanted to leave racing and I’m pleased I’m staying involved.

“People always talk about the camaraderie of the weighing room when they retire but it’s hard to explain and appreciate until you’ve been in there. I’m going on a little holiday and then starting at Dan’s on June 6.”

Soggy farewell

Following his final ride Messenger’s weighing room colleagues came out to give him a send off, and he was unceremoniously dumped in a water trough to cool down.

He added: “I’ve known Harry and Dan [Skelton] for a few years and with Josh Guerriero leaving to join Olly Greenall the chance came and I jumped at it.

“I thought I would take it before I went there but the set up is amazing and the yard is really going places. I’m excited about it.”


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