Veteran jockey Noel Fehily announced his retirement from the saddle on Thursday, after his superb ride on Eglantine Du Seuil in the Grade Two Mares Novice Hurdle for trainer Willie Mullins.
The 43 year-old spoke on Thursday: "This will be my last festival. I've enjoyed every minute of riding horses and I'm going to miss it.
"It's going to be tough walking away. I've loved doing it but it's a great way to bow out. To ride a winner for Jared Sullivan is very important for me. He's been a great supporter and it's great to do it for him.
"I have to speak to my other trainers and I've commitments for the next couple of weeks, so we'll go from there."
Asked if he would be riding at the Grand National meeting, he added: "We'll see how it goes, I haven't spoken to anybody, but it'll be in the next couple of weeks."
The rider had been recently missing from the track after having his appendix removed and, explaining the decision to retire, he said: "I spoke to my agent Chris Broad, my wife and kids about it a couple of weeks ago – you can't go on for ever.
"I thought if I got a festival winner I'd announce it. I'll carry on for the time being but this will be my last festival. I'm 43, which is too old to be in this game."
Fehily has now come out today and officially announced the date he will be leaving the sport for good with it coming much sooner than expected after his shock declaration.
The Irishman expressed his leaving date on Social media with Saturday at Newbury being his last day on the track.
Fehily has had a very special career winning some huge races in his time on the track. His last ever winner at Cheltenham on board Eglantine Du Seuil saw his seventh winner at the festival.
His role of winners see's two Champion Hurdle victories on board Rock On Ruby and Buveur D'Air, plus an extra special Champion Chase performance on Special Tiara when landing the race back in 2017.
The 2018 Cheltenham Festival saw him grab the first winner of the week in the Supreme Novices Hurdle on board Summerville Boy and that was his last Grade One at the meeting.
The rider will be best known for his relationship with the Paul Nicholls Silviniaco Conti, whom he won six Grade Ones on, including two King George's.
Fehily's best season came back in 2013/14 where he went on to ride 127 winners. The jockey is going into the last week of his career starting at Plumpton on Monday with just the one ride.