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Clements calls time on riding career

Clements calls time on riding career

Jockey Steven Clements has announced his retirement from the saddle over the weekend, calling time on a career which saw him in action in Irish point-to-points, over a 15-year period.
 
The Down native, had his first ride between the flags back in April 2002 at Loughanmore aboard Phantom Haze in an older geldings’ maiden, with the pair coming to grief at the county Antrim venue.
 
Clements has mixed his time pointing with success on the track, and as a result it was not until 2007 that he recorded his initial pointing winner in a mares’ maiden at Farmaclaffley aboard Daffi. The Zaffran mare guiding him to a wide margin victory over Knockans Flight. 
 
In total, Clements had just shy of 450 mounts in point-to-points producing a total of 24 winners including aboard some future track stars.
 
Aptly on the same day as when Clements announced his retirement, Blaklion, whom he had ridden to success at Tinahely in 2014 for Colin McKeever and Wilson Dennison, won the Grade 3 Becher Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree, whilst Clements is also associated with Noel Meade’s leading chaser, Road To Respect, having partnered him to success at Monskgrange for his then trainer Eoin Griffin in the colours of Gigginstown House Stud. 
 
That Gamut gelding has since gone on to win the Grade 3 Brown Advisory Plate at the Cheltenham Festival and the Grade 1 Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse.
 
It is at Cheltenham that Clements recorded his greatest riding success, when the then conditional jockey partnered Oiseau De Nuit to success in the 2011 Grand Annual for Colin Tizzard, whilst he had also struck up a successful partnership with Tony Martin since switching back as an amateur.
 
The pair combined to win back-to-back renewals of the valuable amateur rider’s handicap at the GalwayFestival in 2013 and 2014 with Edeymi and Quick Jack.
 
Internal Transfer who is owned by Barry Connell and trained by Alan Fleming, with whom Clements has been closely associated with in more recent times, provided him with his final pointing success when landing the older geldings maiden at Kirkistown last month.
 
Announcing his decision to retire from the saddle on social media, Clements wrote:
 
“A day I never wanted to happen but has finally came. The scales has finally got the better of me mentally and physically. 
 
“Thank you so much to everyone who supported me, especially to the Tizzards and Terry Warner for giving me the best day of my life. 
 
“To Jim for starting me of and helping me all my life so far and to Mary who must have the patience of a saint and has looked after me like a child, couldn't do without her. Thank you everyone.”

 


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