Richard Hills will retire as a jockey in March

Richard Hills
Richard Hills

Veteran jockey Richard Hills has announced he will end his 33-year riding career next month.

Hills, 49, will race for the last time at the Dubai World Cup on 31 March.

He has been first jockey to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum since 1997 and will continue to work for the owner.

"No jockey could have ridden for a more loyal and supportive owner," said Hills. "I want to use my knowledge and experience to further contribute to Sheikh Hamdan and the Shadwell team."

Hills, who was appointed as Sheikh Hamdam's second jockey in 1995, had the first of more than 1,840 domestic winners on Border Dawn at Doncaster in October 1979.

He rode five British Classic winners for Sheikh Hamdan, taking the 1000 Guineas on Harayir in 1995, Lahan in 2000 and Ghanaati in 2009, the 2000 Guineas on Haafhd in 2004 and the Oaks on the Michael Jarvis-trained Eswarah in 2005.

Hills had already picked up his first Group One on Ashal in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 1990.

His other major victories included four Group One races on the Marcus Tregoning-trained Nayef - the 2001 Champion Stakes, the 2002 Dubai Sheema Classic, the 2002 Juddmonte International and the Prince of Wales's Stakes in 2003.

Two of his best front-running performances came in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot when providing big shocks on Maroof in 1994 and Summoner in 2001.

Hills' twin brother Michael is also a jockey, while his father Barry is a former top trainer, who worked with both Haafhd and Ghanaati. His brothers John and Charles are both trainers and his son Patrick is also a jockey.

Tadhg O'Shea, Sheikh Hamdan's current number two, has been linked with the number one job, along with Silvestre de Sousa.

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