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Noel Fehily to retire from the saddle at Newbury on Saturday

Noel Fehily has announced he will bring down the curtain on his brilliant career in the saddle at Newbury on Saturday.

The leading jockey laid out his plans to retire in the "next couple of weeks" following his victory on Eglantine Du Seuil in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle at last week's Cheltenham Festival and on Monday revealed his retirement date.

He said: "I made the decision yesterday really. Newbury is something of a local track for me because I lived in Lambourn for a long time so it fits in well.

"I haven't got anything lined up quite yet but I'll have a look at the entries later today and I'm sure there will be a couple of nice rides for me."

Fehily, 43, has been struggling with illness this season and has just come back from time on the sidelines after having his appendix removed.

In emotional scenes at Cheltenham, he revealed he had spoken to his wife, children and agent Chris Broad a couple of weeks ago about retiring.

"The reaction has been amazing," he said. "I've been overwhelmed by the amount of very kind messages I've received since I announced it. It's been great to get so many, and from people you may not have seen or spoken to for quite some time.

"I haven't had anyone trying to convince me to stay, they're probably all happy to see the back of me I think! Everyone's just really happy I've made the decision and I'm going out on my terms."

The shock 50-1 success of Eglantine Du Seuil was Fehily's seventh at the festival, with Champion Hurdle victories on Rock On Ruby and Buveur D'Air, plus success on Special Tiara in the Champion Chase, among the highlights.

His most productive partnership came with Silviniaco Conti, on whom he won six Grade 1s including two King Georges.

He moved to Britain from Ireland and started out as an amateur with Charlie Mann, riding his first winner for the Lambourn trainer on Ivy Boy at Plumpton in 1998.

He became champion conditional in 2001 and has racked up more than 1,300 victories in Britain.

Fehily, whose best season came in 2013-14 with 127 winners, starts his final week as a jockey with one ride at Plumpton on Monday.

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