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"He cured me mentally" | How Sir Alex Ferguson helped Mick Kinane

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

18:22 15 May 2020

One of the all-time great jockeys, Mick Kinane was a special guest on Friday Night Racing on Off The Ball, where he spoke about the friendship he developed with Sir Alex Ferguson.

Kinane famously rode multiple group one winning horse Rock of Gibraltar, who carried the colours of the former Manchester United manager.

The retired jockey remembers how Alex Ferguson helped him overcome a niggling injury.

"Sir Alex was good to me when I had back trouble," recalled Kinane. "I forget what year it was but my back was giving me trouble so I was stood down (from riding) one day at the Curragh.

"After ten days it was still at me and  I thought, 'Oh I'm going to give up here. I'm going to head to Spain and just disappear for a week or ten days.'

"Next thing the phone rings and it's Sir Alex, he says: 'what are you doing?' I said: 'ah I don't know what I'm doing, I'm thinking of going to Spain.'

"He says: 'get on the next flight and get over here!' I did that, I got the afternoon flight.

"I went into Carrington for three days and got physio, and he didn't cure me, but he cured me mentally."

Kinane remembered the exchange: "Michael' he says, only you can fix this,' so I came back out of it and sought help and got the right physio and came back in a good place.

"I fixed what was broken, it was my mindset. That'll tell you the man-management of him, think of all he had to look after, he didn't need a jockey running around the place at Carrington, but he did."

The encounter with Ferguson, helped put Kinane on the path to a glorious autumn to his career, finishing up with the season to end all seasons when he partnered Sea The Stars to six group one wins in six months.

While Alex Ferguson fell out with the Coolmore partners after a legal battle of the stallion rights to Rock of Gibraltar, Kinane and former Manchester United manager remain close.

"Oh yes," says Kinane when asked about the relationship, "we remain good friends. I've been to many matches at Old Trafford, I was over there last year, he's a good friend and a great man."


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