Jockeys move into all kinds of different jobs when they finally climb out of the saddle. We won’t hear a great deal about the latest to do so, James Millman, as he is about to become a student for the next few years, “reading” – as they say on University Challenge – law.
He had the perfect ending to his riding career yesterday with an all in the family success on his last ride, Ishi, at Lingfield. The horse was bred, and is trained by the jockey’s father, Rod Millman, and whilst it was a first win for the filly, Millman junior was scoring win number 137.
His career started with just a single ride in 2003, with his first winner coming two years later. He said he was retiring because, “This year has not been great for us and we’ve lost a lot of horses due to the economy. It’s not going to get better for a couple of years and if I was going to do something else now was the time.”
Milllman told At The Races: “The perfect ending - it's worked out well. It's great to go out on a winner. She'd been quite nervous before and it was the first race she'd had a chance to win, so we put the blinkers on. She's the third horse we've bred and all three have won, so it's a great way to end. It's just great to get a winner as I had my first ride here about 10 years ago.”
His father added: “I've been very proud of him all the time. It's quite sad, in a way, but he's going off to do other things and I'm sure he'll make a big success of that as well. It was nice to finish on a note like that. James has done all the work on her. The trouble is we train so far away from any training centres (in Devon), so it wouldn't have made economic sense for him to be a full-time jockey as such. He's been assistant trainer as well, so I'm going to have to work even harder now. He's been a big part of it for a few years now.”