Disillusioned Alison quits being a jockey
After giving almost half of his life to horse racing, a lack of opportunity has forced jockey Nathan Alison to walk away from the sport.
The 27-year-old made big strides as an apprentice with Jim Boyle at Epsom, before switching to Newmarket with William Haggas and more recently Ismail Mohammed.
But, having previously claimed 7lb and 5lb, a further reduction to 3lb soon saw the offers dry up.
Alison took on just 37 rides in 2016 and 2017 and with no real light at the end of the tunnel, the time has come to call it a day.
He said: “There comes a point when you have to consider whether it is actually going to happen.
“My claim was reduced to 3lb and I did not have a specific trainer supporting me.
“When it comes to a 3lb claim, trainers would rather use a professional with more experience. It was more frustrating than anything to do with finances.
“I would have one ride up at Newcastle and things would go quiet for a few weeks — the ball was not rolling enough.
“You can only wait so long for the opportunities to come around.
“There’s always other jockeys to quickly take your place — it is a dog eat dog world.
“When you have that winner you just want to keep the ball rolling and keep your name out there in the papers.
“But when you only have one ride here and one ride there, you quickly get forgotten about.”
Alison — a winner on 54 occasions in the saddle — will remain a part of the horse racing world for the time being as part of Mohammed’s yard at Grange House Stables.
However, the Londoner is seeking a clean break for the long-term as he plots life as a newly-wed and an expectant father.
“I am still working in the industry as a stable lad, but I would like a career change and a clean sheet.
“I just recently got married and my wife is pregnant, so a fresh start would be good.
“I have been in racing since I was 15 and a half — it has been a long time.
“Something new would be great — a complete career change will do me good.
“I have loved racing, but the time is right to move on from it all.”