Richard Hills pays tribute to his 'loyal and supportive' Dubai royal owner after his decision to call time on his distinguished career.
Jockey of Sheikh Hamdan to retire after Dubai World Cup
The Dubai World Cup will provide the stage for Richard Hills, the retained jockey to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, to retire from the saddle.
Hills, 49, rode Kandar du Falgas to a three-length victory in Friday's 1,400m Bani Yas, a Group 2 race at Meydan Racecourse but today announced the showpiece meeting in Dubai on March 31 will be the final one of his distinguished career which has been largely spent working for the Minster of Finance.
In a statement issued through his agent John Robertson, Hills said: "It has been my privilege to ride for Sheikh Hamdan as first jockey for the last 15 years and previously as second jockey to W (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, whose career has spanned 33 years, rode five British Classic winners for Sheikh Hamdan, taking the 1000 Guineas on Harayir (1995), Lahan (2000) and Ghanaati (2009).
He won the 2000 Guineas on Haafhd in 2004 - like Ghanaati trained by his father Barry - and the Oaks on the Michael Jarvis-trained Eswarah in 2005. But perhaps the biggest achievement of his career was the Dubai World Cup win in 1999 onboard Almutawakel, the prized thorough-bred trained by Emirati Saeed bin Suroor.