Retiring Newmarket trainer Paul D'Arcy looks back on a career to remember
‘I enjoyed every minute’ – that is how Paul D’Arcy reflected on a long training career following his decision to retire.
Based in Newmarket, former jockey D’Arcy started out in 1993 and enjoyed his finest moment 10 years later when Indian Haven triumphed in the Group 1 2,000 Irish Guineas at The Curragh.
There have been plenty of other memorable moments along the way, but it was always the soon-to-be 65-year-old’s intention to call it a day at this stage in his life.
“I am 65 in a couple of weeks and I had always planned to retire once I reached that age,” said D’Arcy.
“It’s not related to Covid or anything like that, this was always the plan.
“You have to renew your licence at the start of February and I didn’t see the point of doing it for two weeks.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute and I’ll still be involved a little bit. I’ll be doing bits for Ross and Peter Doyle (Bloodstock) and I’ve also got some shares in horses.”
While Indian Haven’s victory 28 years ago was the undoubted major highlight, D’Arcy savoured every single win.
He added: “The Guineas, the Group wins and the black types are all nice, but one of my best achievements was winning the little races for all of the different small owners.
“I enjoyed training winners for those because these are people that go racing all of the time and they are in it for the love of the sport.”
With regards to Indian Haven, D’Arcy also felt the son of Indian Ridge was mightily unlucky to have not won the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket three weeks earlier.
The draw proved costly at the Rowley Mile, where D’Arcy’s horse finished down the field in 14th under John Egan.
“If you go back and watch that race with a critical eye you can see he was very unlucky,” said D’Arcy.
“He should have at least been in the first three but the draw didn’t help – he had nowhere to go.
“That’s why we supplemented him at a cost of 40,000 in Ireland because we knew how good he was.
“You don’t take on five or six Aidan O’Brien horses lightly but if you look at the result and the horses that finished behind him, he proved us right.”