Aspell calls time on riding career

Dual Grand National-winning jockey Leighton Aspell has announced his retirement.

The 43-year-old said on Saturday his last rides would be at Fontwell the following day.

Aspell initially hung up his saddle in 2007, but returned made a comeback in 2009 – a move which proved highly lucrative with his best days on the track yet to come.

While Aspell had won two Welsh Grand Nationals in his first stint in the riding ranks, his second spell as a jockey gave him back-to-back victories in the Aintree showpiece.

Aspell and the Dr Richard Newland-trained Pineau De Re sprang a 25-1 shock in the 2014 National, before Oliver Sherwood’s Many Clouds triumphed at the same odds the following year, making Aspell the first rider since Brian Fletcher on Red Rum in 1973 and 74 to win two successive editions of the race.

“This is for definite,” Aspell said.

“I’ve had a brilliant second innings at it with the Hennessy and two Grand Nationals and many graded races for Oliver.

“It is something that has been on my mind for a while. I could have gone on until the end of the season, I could have done it when I reached 50 winners.

“When the entries came out for this week and I saw it was Fontwell, a local track, and I saw I had some rides there I thought I would do it then.”

Aspell enjoyed his best season with 65 winners in 2013/14.

He said he hoped to continue working within racing.

“I do some pre-training, but I’m very interested in the handicapping and race-reading side of stuff,” he said.

“I’d be very interested in a job along those lines.”