Michael Hills to retire as jockey after more than 2,000 wins

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport
Michael Hills

Epsom Derby-winning jockey Michael Hills says he will retire next month after a career which brought more than 2,000 winners.

The 49-year-old, who won the 1996 Derby on Shaamit, follows

"You can't go on too long and I've had a great career and I've really enjoyed it," Hills told BBC Sport.

"I'll be 50 in January. Any jockey who can ride into their late 40s at a high level is extremely fortunate."

The Newmarket-born jockey plans to retire when the turf Flat racing season ends on 10 November.

Hills, whose first winner was Sky Thief at Nottingham in August 1979, was champion apprentice four years later and went on to a string of big-race wins in the UK and abroad.

He has won a total of 32 Group One races, including victories in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.

His Derby victory came on the William Haggas-trained Shaamit, who won on his first race of the season.

Hills won the Irish 1000 Guineas twice - on Nicer (1993) and Hula Angel (1999) - but said one of his career highlights was winning the Jockey Club Cup five times on Further Flight in the 1990s.

"I won 22 times on him over nine years, and it was a great achievement between me and the horse," he said.