Dalgleish retires after weight battle

At the age of 21, great glories should lie ahead for Keith Dalgleish, one of the leading jockeys of the new wave and a talent apparently destined for racing's peak. Yet, this morning, Dalgleish's career, and perhaps his life, is in rubble.

The young man will not ride on the Flat again, a victim of a curse which affects so many in his calling, one which has hurt the very top men such as Frankie Dettori and Johnny Murtagh. Dalgleish has lost what is known in his sport as 'a battle with the scales'. More plainly it is a battle with himself.

Dalgleish has been betrayed by the same body which has propelled him to athletic success. His physique - he stands at over 6ft tall - has, since he started, appeared distinctly unsuited to his trade. The Scot has always been squatter camp-thin and possessed of a billiard hall complexion. The rigours must have been enormous just to keep him at work. But now he can stand the privations no longer. The racecard for Saturday evening at Hamilton now becomes something of a collectors' item. It is the last time the name of K Dalgleish will appear on a Flat programme. The jockey failed to take up his four rides at the Lanarkshire course and an announcement about Dalgleish's career was swiftly confirmed yesterday morning. "He has retired," Richard Hale, the jockey's agent, said.

"I only took him over a week ago and I took a phone call yesterday morning from his dad saying that Keith had packed in and was finished. He didn't say much more than that and didn't shed a lot of light on it, but he obviously has weight problems, and he said Keith would ring me in a day or two when he has got his head together.

"He is only 21, though, and it is not like retiring when you are 35. But he is over six foot tall, so it is an uphill struggle and it has presumably got the better of him. I can only read between the lines as he's only been with me a week, but he certainly never mentioned anything like this and it has come as a shock to me as well.

"He never carries any weight and is at a bare minimum, so is fighting the scales all of the time, and there will be no day when he went racing without wasting. Most people can have a few days off but if he let it go, he could probably put half a stone on quite easily."

Dalgleish's talent was enough to have earned him employment at Mark Johnston's Middleham yard. Indeed, his greatest success in the saddle came on Kingsley House's Yavana's Pace, whom he partnered to Group One success in Germany in August of 2002. He rode many of Johnston's luminaries, including Lucky Story, a winner at Glorious Goodwood last year.

There have been 22 winners this season but no more. If Keith Dalgleish is ever to feel the emotional rush of sharing in a horserace victory again it now seems it will have to come in another sphere of the turf. "A few people have been asking if he will go jumping and I am not saying that won't happen," Hale added, "but I just don't know at this stage."

* Kieren Fallon's legal team believe the disrepute charges facing the champion jockey are flawed. Fallon's solicitor, Christopher Stewart-Moore, has said that the jockey's comments to the News of the World "undermine the whole case" after hearing the tapes made by the newspaper. The Jockey Club's public relations director, John Maxse, commented: "A date has yet to be set for the hearing but we are looking at the back end of September."

Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say


Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Pensions Administrator

£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

KS2 Teacher

£21000 - £34000 per annum + Excellent rates of pay, CPD, Support : Randstad Ed...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: I am currently recruiting level 3 n...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album