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Spencer back in winners' enclosure as Irony strikes


Jamie Spencer

Jamie Spencer

Jamie Spencer

Jamie Spencer was back in the winner's enclosure after his first ride since announcing he was to carry on riding when partnering Master Of Irony to victory at Lingfield.

Spencer revealed in a statement on Sunday while he was in Hong Kong that he had shelved plans to retire and instead ride as a freelance next season.

The 34-year-old shocked the industry in August when he announced his intention hang up his saddle at the end of 2014, and it had been expected his final ride had come aboard the unplaced Trade Storm in the Hong Kong Mile.

Twice crowned champion jockey in Britain, Spencer was told in the summer his retained contract with influential owners Qatar Racing would not be renewed in 2015 and he was set to take up a management role within Sheikh Fahad Al Thani's racing operation.

However, he showed he has lost none of his appetite for race-riding when making the most of his sole mount at the Surrey track.

He had the Ralph Beckett-trained newcomer held up as The Olympus Man, wearing the same colours of Qatar Racing as the winner, made the running.

Showing plenty of greenness the 11-4 shot was brought wide by Spencer to make his challenge in the straight. He led inside the final furlong and ran on nicely to score by a length and a quarter from Rockfast.

"He was very babyish - he was exactly what Ralph said he'd be," said Spencer. "I think there'll be big improvement."

Spencer said he intends to have a break after his one ride on Hurricane Alert for Qatar and Beckett at Kempton later today to recharge his batteries for the year ahead.

"I'm going to take a holiday until February time and refresh and recharge," Spencer said. "I'm looking forward to having a few holidays and taking it easy until February.

"I try to keep a low profile as much as I can but there's been a lot of nice texts and calls.

"There is no target, just to work hard, achieve plenty and be committed and dedicated, on and off the track."