Daly bows out in style

Alan Daly ended his 15-year riding career in the best way possible as he guided Desert Dreamer to success in the Newchapel Selling Stakes at Lingfield.

Alan Daly ended his 15-year riding career in the best way possible as he guided Desert Dreamer to success in the Newchapel Selling Stakes at Lingfield.

Daly settled the Tom Dascombe inmate towards the rear for much of the seven-furlong contest, but was pulled wide to challenge at the top of the straight.

The 2-1 favourite took a while to hit top gear before swooping late to score by a length and three-quarters from Obe Royal.

The 34-year-old, riding the 203rd winner of his career in Britain, could not contain his excitement as he punched the air passing the post.

"I'm high on life," said Daly. "To get a winner on my last ride like that, it feels like I've just won the lottery.

"Tom Dascombe has done a fantastic job for me.

"He's one of the up-and-coming young trainers of the game and said for a while he'd try and sort out a winner on my last ride."

Daly is over the moon to have bowed out of the racing game on a high and was keen to praise the influence of his parents.

"I must be one of the luckiest people alive. I've been in a fantastic job for 15 years and I've lived the dream," said the Marlborough-based Daly.

"Many people come into this sport with hopes and dreams and ambitions, but few get the chance to live out the opportunity.

"Thankfully, that has been the case with me and I'm just very proud to have lived the life I have.

"I've grabbed every opportunity and harassed every trainer into giving me rides, but I wouldn't have swopped it for all the tea in China.

"A big part of my career has been my parents, without their love and support I would not have achieved anything."

Daly is now looking forward to taking his life into a new direction, with a career in the fire service very much on his radar.

He had applied to become part of the Gloucester Fire and Rescue Service but as there were no positions available.

Daly is now waiting to hear back from the Surrey Force, to whom he has recently sent an application.

"I'm the sort of person that needs a challenge in life and hopefully I'll get the chance to give something back to the people of Surrey, where I rode my biggest ever winner (Global Dancer in the Apprentice Derby at Epsom).

"It's an incredibly exciting time and I cannot wait to start a new career."

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