Cheltenham Festival winning jockey Jack Sherwood has decided to call time on his career aged just 27.
The son of Ludlow’s clerk of the course Simon Sherwood rode a total of 63 winners during a near 10 years spell in the saddle.
His his finest hour came when partnering the Paul Nicholls-trained Ibis Du Rheu when landing the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.
He have the John Hales owned gelding a sublime ride, producing him with a perfectly timed run from midfield to take up the running a furlong from home and beat Flying Angel by 1 1/4 lengths.
At that stage the world looked his oyster, but Sherwood only ever partnered the horse once in his 12 subsequent starts.
That came a month after at Aintree’s Grand National festival when the pair finished eight of 23 to Party Rock in a Grade 3 handicap hurdle.
Sherwood did enjoy d Graded successes aboard Silsol and Present Man, also trained by Ditcheat handler Nicholls, but managed just two winners from 77 rides last season.
Disillusioned with the Game
That poor tally saw him become disillusioned with the game he once loved end held out such high hopes for.
Sherwood told the Racing Post: “It’s hard to walk away from something you love but I’ve reached a certain age and the riding is not going in the right direction, and packing it all in is something I’ve had in the back of my head for a little while.
“Last season I just became a bit disillusioned with the whole thing and you just get to a point when you think there’s no logic in continuing down the same old path. I consider you’ve got to be 100 per cent driven in anything to do well, and if it’s only around 50-50 or so then there’s not a lot of point in keeping up the pretence.”
His decision just goes to show how hard it is for young riders trying to carve out a career and make the break through into the big-time.
Despite having the backing of powerful multiple Cheltenham Festival winning trainer Nicholls, Sherwood still didn’t get the opportunities that he arguably deserved.
He now wants to pursue a new career within the racing industry, and whatever he path he decides to go down, let’s hope it is a successful one.
Nicholls Gunning for More Galway Plate Glory
The Galway Festival takes centre stage at the end of the month and 10-times champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls is planning two launch a two-pronged attack on the feature contest – the 2m 6f Galway Plate on Wednesday, July 31st.
Nicholls, best known for his exploits with Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup winners Denman and Kauto Star, along with Stayers’ Hurdle star Big Buck’s, is targeting the valuable prize with Black Corton and Modus.
The former is a nine time winner over the larger obstacles and has won 13 of his 28 starts under rules.
The eight-year-old is a dual winner at Cheltenham and was far from disgraced when fifth to Presenting Percy in the Grade 1 RSA Novices’ Chase at the 2019 Festival.
Has built up a tremendous rapport with Briony Frost who raised the roof when partnering Frodon to a thrilling Grade 1 success in the Ryanair Chase at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
Modus is owned by leading Irish owner and gambler JP McManus who saw his famous green and gold hooped colours carried to victory in 2013 by Carlingford Lough.
The nine-year-old, who has won four of his 11 starts over fences, has become well-treated and looks tailor-made for the race.
Nicholls knows what it takes to win the race, which is now worth €300,000 , having saddled Oslot to land a monster gamble in 2008.
He, and Philip Hobbs in 1998, are the only British trainer to win the contest since it was first run in 1988.