LEADING racehorse owner Michael O'Leary has announced he will be scaling down his involvement in racing in a huge blow for National Hunt racing.
Gigginstown House Stud will no longer be buying any more young horses as O'Leary looks to phase out his racing team over the next five years.
O'Leary told The Irish Field: "We wish to sincerely thank all our trainers and their teams for the enormous success we've enjoyed over the past decade but, as my children are growing into teenagers I am spending more and more of my time at their activities and I have less and less time for National Hunt racing, a situation that will continue for the foreseeable future.
"I hope that by running down our string over an extended four or five year period it will give our trainers ample time to replace our horses without disruption."
The Ryanair boss has enjoyed plenty of success on the racetrack in recent years led by fan favourite Tiger Roll who bagged back-to-back wins in the Grand National just last month.
While the Gigginstown colours are widely associated with National Hunt racing, O'Leary initially started out with Flat horses.
However, the code switch saw O'Leary celebrating in 2006 when War Of Attrition won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Don Cossack also went on to win the 2015 Gold Cup for Gigginstown.
In 2016, Rule The World gave Gigginstown a first Grand National win before Tiger Roll's double success.
Other top horses to carry the famous colours in recent years include Samcro and Apple's Jade.
O'Leary made headlines just a couple of years ago when removing his entire string from Willie Mullins' yard with Gordon Elliott the main benefactor.
Now it is Elliott who is left to contemplate how he will replace the powerhouse owners.
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