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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Prendergast salutes McDonoghHeadlines
Declan McDonogh

Trainer Kevin Prendergast wished Declan McDonogh the best of luck after the jockey was confirmed as the Aga Khan's Irish retained rider for next season.

Prendergast and McDonogh have enjoyed a fruitful partnership for over a decade in Ireland, registering a number of Group One victories with the likes of Rebelline, Termagant, Kingsfort and the 2011 Phoenix Stakes winner La Collina.

McDonogh, champion jockey in 2006, will now largely be riding for the powerful yard of John Oxx, but Prendergast hopes he will still be available to ride for him on occasion. The County Kildare handler will not appoint a successor to McDonogh in the role of stable jockey.

Prendergast said: "It's a good job and I think Declan really deserves it. He's a fine rider and he works hard.

"He's never missed a day since he's been with me for the last 12 years or so and I hope it goes really well for him. When he's not riding for Mr Oxx, we'll use him if he's available. We also have Chris Hayes and Sam James, so we're not short in that department."

McDonogh reiterated his delighted at getting one of the most prestigious jobs in Flat racing.

"I'm really thrilled, it's a great step," he told At The Races.

"It's a fantastic yard at Mr Oxx's, it's exciting times for me and it's a privilege to be putting on those green and red silks. It's great to be part of the team and we'll see how we go. Kevin is keen to use me whenever Mr Oxx doesn't need me."

McDonogh is hoping the move will increase his prospects of being crowned champion jockey for a second time.

"You'd like to think so, maybe. It would be great," he said.

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