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Coleman pledges to battle back as Ferguson moves on

By Nick Robson

Aidan Coleman described the news John Ferguson is to give up his training licence in April as a "real blow".

The rider has struck up a terrific relationship with Ferguson as his number one this season and is enjoying a fine campaign, sitting on 99 winners, second only to Richard Johnson in the jockeys' championship.

Ferguson will devote more time to Godolphin, becoming chief executive and racing manager to Sheikh Mohammed's operation.

Coleman said: "The news naturally came as a big shock and is a real blow.

"It must have been a very, very difficult decision for John as he loves training but I can fully understand why he had to make the call. His priorities lie with Sheikh Mohammed.

"It's been a very short association but I will struggle to find a sweeter one.

"What this season has done is propelled my career to the next level.

"Sure, it would have been nice to raise a century of winners before Christmas but I am absolutely delighted to only be one short and in clear second in the jockeys' championship."

And he added: "It will be interesting to see what next season brings."

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