‘I’ve been extremely lucky to enjoy two successful careers in racing’: Dark Emerald trainer and former jockey Brendan Powell retires aged 59
- Powell partnered Rhyme ‘n’ Reason to victory in the 1988 Grand National
- He also won both the Scottish Grand National and Midlands Grand National
- The Irishman sent out an impressive 645 winners in a 19-year training career
Brendan Powell, famous for partnering Rhyme ‘N’ Reason to victory in the 1988 Grand National, has saddled his final runners as a trainer.
The 59-year-old Irishman, also synonymous for his associations in the saddle with the likes of National Hunt legends Dublin Flyer and Panto Prince, sent out an impressive 645 winners under both codes in a 19-year training career which saw him enjoy success all over the world.
Bargain-buy DarkEmerald was arguably Powell’s most remarkable achievement, progressing from a minor Leicester success to win back-to-back Meydan handicaps in Dubai before finishing second in the Zabeel Mile, rated 112.
Brendan Powell sent out 645 winners under both codes in a 19-year training career
Success in the Middle East was a far cry from the Newton Abbot seller where the affable Lambourn handler sent out his first runner for fellow Irish trainer Ted Walsh, days which Powell recounts fondly.
He said: ‘It seems along time ago now, but Ted sent me over this little filly and said “see whatyou can do with her”.
‘She was second at Newton Abbot in a god awful race and I can’t say at that stage I was ever dreaming of training Dubai winners.
Powell also twice won both the Scottish Grand National and the Midlands Grand National
‘I don’t have any regrets about giving up training. Time has come to look at doing something else with my life and I have a couple of exciting options on the table.
‘I have been very lucky to have trained for some fabulous owners, some of whom have been with me from day one like Con Harrington, Iain Smith and Derek and Judith Newell and I can’t thank them enough for their support or that of my staff.
‘Being able to put the likes of AP McCoy or Kieren Fallon on winners and train 32 winners for JP McManus has also given me a huge sense of satisfaction and I’ve been extremely lucky to enjoy two successful careers in racing, especially as both Jenny Pitman and David Gandolfo both said I’d never make a jockey!’