Renowned English jockey Richard Hills has announced is retirement from riding after a career spanning 33 years and will race for the last time at the Dubai World Cup on 31 March.
Hills released a statement from Dubai stating: “It has been my privilege to ride for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum as first jockey for the last 15 years and previously as second jockey to Willie Carson for two years.
“No jockey could have ridden for a more loyal and supportive owner.
“I was very fortunate to start my career with a great man in Tom Jones and without him much of what I have achieved would not have been possible.”
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 and he also won the 2000 Guineas on Haafhd in 2004 – also trained by his father – and the Oaks on the Michael Jarvis-trained Eswarah in 2005.
Hills has ridden more than 1840 winners in the UK since his career first on Border Dawn at Doncaster in 1979.
He landed his first Group One win for Sheikh Hamdan on Ashal in the Ascot Gold Cup in 1990.
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.
He also won the St Leger at Doncaster in 1999 on Mutafaweq for Godolphin and enjoyed success at the top level in Canada, France, Germany and Italy.
Hills is a member of the famed Hills dynasty. His twin brother is fellow jockey Michael Hills, their father is the retired trainer Barry Hills while brothers John and Charles are both trainers. Paddy Power make Silvestre de Sousa. 7-2 favourite to replace him as Al Maktoum’s no.1 jockey. Tadhg O’Shea, Sheikh Hamdan’s current number two, has also been linked with the number one job.