Monday, February 27, 2012

Hills set to retire

Richard Hills has announced he will retire from the saddle at the end of the Dubai World Cup Carnival this year.

His final race could be in the Dubai World Cup on March 31 in the race he won for the only time in 1999 on board Almutawakel for trainer Saeed Bin Suroor and Godolphin.

The 49-year old has been the first jockey to Sheikh Hamdan al Maktour for the last 15 years in which he has ridden six Classic winners including Eswarah, Mutafaweq and more recently Ghanati in the 1000 Guineas in 2009. People following the latest online horse racing betting odds will know how good he is.

Hills took over from Willie Carson as the number one rider for Sheikh Hamdan in1997 after spending two years as his second jockey.

Three years ago Hills recorded his highest total of his career in one season when he rode 98 winners in the 2009 campaign, five of which were Group One races including the Coronation Stakes with Ghanati. His total wins in Britain stands at 1892 which spans across 33 different seasons.

The only English Classic that Hills wasn’t fortune to win was the Derby at Epsom, he did finish second in the race though in 2000 on board Sakhee who was denied by a length to John Oxx’s Sinndar. His first success in a Classic was in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarkert in 1995 when he rode Harayir to victory in the one mile contest for fillies.

It is thought that Hills will continue in some working capacity with Sheikh Hamdan with his breeding operations but the son of trainer Barry Hills has to confirm how he will spend his future.

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