Andrew Thornton: Jump jockey to retire after 28 years

Andrew Thornton
Andrew Thornton won the 1998 Cheltenham Gold Cup on Cool Dawn

Former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Andrew Thornton will retire after racing at Uttoxeter on Wednesday.

The 45-year-old has won 1,006 races in the UK in a 28-year career.

"I woke up on Thursday morning, had a few things running around in my head and I thought the time was right," he told At The Races.

"My wife asked me this morning if I was sure, but I absolutely am. I have no regrets. I've got a lot to look back on."

Thornton, who is also a BBC Radio 5 live pundit, has 69 victories at Wincanton, his most successful track.

He sustained a knee injury in 2016, but has won six races since returning in October 2017.

Analysis

Cornelius Lysaght, horse racing correspondent

Longevity by any athlete is to be admired, and when Thornton started out in the autumn of 1990, Mrs Thatcher was in the process of being toppled, Radio 5 live was only three months old and Peter Scudamore was champion jockey. No-one had heard of AP McCoy.

Thornton's success is well documented - his Gold Cup near-misses on Sir Rembrandt shouldn't be forgotten - and it has been achieved with a riding style which is not necessarily classic but is highly effective.

He's also been among the most colourful jockey characters of his era, not least because he was one of the first professionals to wear contact lenses in races, earning the nickname 'Lensio'.

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