Fehily set for emotional farewell

Updated: 21/03/2023

Noel Fehily will hope to go out with a bang at Cheltenham after announcing that he is retiring later this year.

The 43-year-old has enjoyed success at Prestbury Park, winning two Champion Hurdles – on Rock On Ruby in 2012 and Buveur d’Air in 2017 – while he guided Special Tiara to Champion Chase glory two years ago.

The Irishman enjoyed a winner on Thursday at the Festival, taking the Grade 2 National Hunt Breeders Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at a tasty price of 50/1 for Willie Mullins.

Fehily has enjoyed success elsewhere, partnering Silviniaco Conti to King George VI Chase glory at Kempton Park in both 2013 and 2014, but he told BBC Radio 5 live that he will hang up his racing boots later in 2019.

“I’m lucky and had some great days. I’ve ridden some lovely horses and had great support,” he said. “I have a few things in the pipeline, but I will take a little break and decide from there.”

He will bring the curtain down on his Festival career in Friday’s Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, riding Dorrells Pierji for Mullins once again.

He may have his work cut out to claim the spoils, with the six-year-old gelding 33/1 in the market.

Whatever happens, Fehily believes he has chosen the right time to call it a day.

“It’s a young man’s game, you can’t go on forever,” he added. “I will be 44 this year, I’ve had a great time, loved every minute of it and I’ll miss it like hell.”

Odds subject to change.

This post first appeared here

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