Ray Cochrane retires

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  • Ray Cochrane, who escaped with fellow jockey Frankie Dettori from a light aircraft crash in the summer, has announced his retirement from the saddle.

    Forty-three-year-old Cochrane, who won the Derby in 1988 on Kahyasi, had two heavy falls whenhe returned to race-riding after clambering from the plane wreckage which killed the pilot. It is the back injury he sustained in those two falls which have forced him to call it a day.

    Jockey Club medical adviser Dr Michael Turner has told Cochrane that any further impact on his back could result in him spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

    Cochrane, a keep-fit fanatic who would run up to five miles a day, had his final ride galloping a horse after racing at Salisbury in August. It was the spill from this animal which finished him. He has not been able to jog since then and is in pain even when he walks.

    In addition to Kahyasi, on whom he also won the Irish Derby, the outstanding horses Cochrane rode include Chief Singer, brilliantly fast miler and winner of the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and the July Cup at Newmarket.

    He was also successful in the 1,000 Guineas and Oaks on Midway Lady, the Irish 1,000 Guineas on Ensconse and the French 1,000 Guineas on Valentine Waltz.

    Cochrane had a spell during his 26-year career riding over hurdles.

    Ballooning weight caused by a fractured pelvis forced him to go jumping but once the scales were back under control he returned to the flat.

    Cochrane has been nominated for a civil bravery award for the courage he showed in June when he pulled Dettori from the plane crash and then returned to the burning wreckage to try to rescue the pilot, only to be forced back by the flames.

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