Jockey Kieren Fox has announced his retirement from the saddle.
Fox, who has ridden the majority of his winners for trainer John Best, cited financial pressures and a wish to spend more time with his family as the reason for taking up a new career.
“I’m going working on the roads, tarmacking,” Fox told Sky Sports Racing, ahead of bowing out with a ride aboard Ignatius at Chelmsford on Friday evening.
“It’s completely different – an eight til five job – but it’s good money and regular, something I can’t turn away.
“There comes a time you’ve got to put family first, I want to be a role model to my kids and I’m not getting the rides to make it worth my while, so I need to spend more time with my kids.
“I want to take the kids on holiday, but then I get told I can’t miss a ride otherwise I’ll never get back on it, no matter how many times I ride out for the trainer.
“Things like that, not knowing where money is coming from, going to Wolverhampton or Southwell for one ride – after expenses you walk away with nothing.
“When racing is good it is the best job in the world, but there are a lot of jockeys that will be struggling to make a real good living.
“I think you need three rides a day, unless you are going somewhere local, but I was travelling everywhere on my own – I wasn’t even able to share fuel costs.
“I’ve had a lot of owners who stuck by me, a few that I’ve told don’t want me to pack it in, but it just doesn’t make sense.”
Fox will retire having ridden over 200 winners, but never quite fulfilled his early promise, and he thinks he knows why.
“I wouldn’t say my success came too quick, but I wasn’t educated in how to look after myself financially,” he admitted.
“It’s well documented I had a bad gambling problem that I went to rehab to sort out. Online gambling, casinos and the like, but I wasted the money I earned.
“I think there needs to be someone teaching young jockeys how to look after their finances, because I let a lot of things slip through my fingers. I stopped riding out, as I didn’t expect the good times to stop, but they did. I got lazy.
“It’s all life experience, but it can be looked at for future generations.”