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Jamie Spencer has abandoned plans to retire and will continue as a freelance rider.

In August, the 34-year-old announced his intention to retire by the end of the year, and it had been expected his final ride had come aboard Trade Storm who finished seventh in Sunday’s Hong Kong Mile.

Twice crowned champion jockey in Britain, Spencer was told last year 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 said in a statement he had changed his mind.

“Sheikh Fahad and Qatar Racing offered me a wonderful opportunity to become part of their management team but, after much reflection, I have decided that at this stage in my life I am not going to accept it,” Spencer said.

“I have discussed at length with Sheikh Fahad my decision to carry on riding and he fully understands and supports me.

“I will be riding primarily as a freelance, but obviously I have certain existing links and relationships with trainers that I will be utilising.

“At the time of their offer, I thought I was ready to retire from race riding and take up a position with Qatar Racing. Sheikh Fahad understands completely why I no longer feel I can accept the offer and that is what is most important to me, I am less concerned about what others may think or say.”

One of the highlights for Spencer this season has been his association with the Jamie Osborne-trained Toast Of New York.

The pair teamed up to win UAE Derby at Meydan in March and came within a nose of beating Bayern for a fairytale win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita last month.

The horse is due to run at Meydan next March, where he will contest the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup.

“If it means that he is going to be available to ride our good horse, that’s obviously great news and I’m delighted,” Osborne said.

 
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