Denis Hogan came out of retirement to steer Paddy The Wire to victory in the concluding bumper at Catterick.
The County Tipperary handler announced he was giving up riding after enjoying Galway Festival success aboard Bua Boy at the end of July, in a bid to concentrate on his upwardly mobile training career.
However, Hogan made a surprise return to the saddle at Ayr on Monday when finishing second on Grozni, and extended his stay in Britain by 24 hours to partner Paddy The Wire in the Racing Again 28th December Intermediate Open NH Flat Race in North Yorkshire.
Fourth on his bumper debut at Limerick last month, the 4-1 shot received a patient ride from his trainer before making good headway after the home turn – and he got up late in the day to beat Risk D’Argent by half a length.
Hogan, who has made his mark in the training ranks with the likes of smart sprinters Sceptical and Make A Challenge, said: “I think a lot of people were surprised to see me jocked up at Ayr yesterday and Catterick today, and I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it.
“I suppose I’ve missed riding. Since I stopped I’ve been doing a lot of running and keeping fit, and for the last couple of years riding has been more of a hobby for me than anything anyway. Training has been number one, and getting on board one or two was a bonus.
“I still have my licence and I just thought ‘you know what, they’re two bumpers and I’m riding two lots a day, why not have a go?’ If nothing else it keeps my head right, and I find it gives me an extra insight to how they’re going being able to sit on them.”
Hogan has not ruled out riding again, adding: “There’s a chance I might ride one or two over Christmas – and whether I’ll renew my licence next year or not, we’ll see.
“We have a lot more Flat horses than jumpers these days. But of the jumpers that are there, there’s a couple of new ones that could be exciting, so we’ll play it by ear.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this without having a super team around me. I only came over to ride because with a negative (Covid-19) test you now only need to isolate for five days when you go back to Ireland.”