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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 June, 2003, 20:05 GMT 21:05 UK
Have Your Say on Horse Racing
Send in your turf talk, tips and racing debate.

Eleven-time champion Flat jockey Pat Eddery has announced he will retire from racing at the end of the season.

Send us your best memories from Eddery's incredible career.

Have Your Say using the form on the right-hand side of the page.


Trade Fair was simply awesome at Newmarket on Saturday afternoon. He settled beautifully and showed a tremendous burst of acceleration when Richard Hughes pushed the button and let him really stride out.

If Trade Fair stays a mile, we could just witness a great miler in the making. Move over Hawk Wing, Trade Fair is the new star in town!
Mark Moffat, UK

Jockeys have a very tough job as there is a very fine line in the sport between looking good and looking like an idiot. On the other hand, there are jockeys who have a tendency to ride brainless races and Daryll Holland's ride on Landing Light showed that in the Northumberland Plate.

He sat the heavily-backed favourite two or three from the back and five and six wide throughout the first mile and a half of the race. If he was to win from that position, the horse would have needed to be a superstar and with all due respect to Landing Light and his connections, he is just another staying handicapper.

If jockeys do wrong, punish them!
Gary Lewis, Scotland

Those who were unfortunate to lump on the horse got absolutely no run for their money. Under the laws of racing, if a jockey does not give the horse every chance to finish as close as possible, he/she has broken the rules.

Why are jockeys not punished for incidents like this? It doesn't look even nearly as blatant as the cases with Fran Ferris and Jimmy Fortune but once again exposes the inconsistency of the stewards. If jockeys do wrong, punish them!
Gary Lewis, Scotland

On the 27 June, there were 317 horses declared to run, spread over six meetings. The 28 June was the a similar story. Yet there are plans to expand racing further. This is insane. No other country in the world expects to hold horse racing seven days a week for almost the entire year.

On top of that there are the dogs, the poker machines, the fruit machines, the numbers games, heads 'n tails, innumerable lotteries, ridiculous 'special bets', football, and all other sports, plus the virtual reality rubbish.

The bookies argue there is a demand for all of this, which is absurd. Nobody was clamouring for virtual reality racing until the bookies saw it as yet another opportunity to fleece their customers.

They know that most of their punters are addicted at one level or another and hardly ever gamble rationally (insofar as that is not an oxymoron).

Gambling is going to become as big a social problem as alcohol and alcoholism
Philip Clayton, London

One result of all this is that the shops have become hell holes. Even those who want to try and study form find it difficult as there is never a single minute of 'dead' time allowed. The pressure to hurry up and bet is ceaseless.

Surely it is about time that the government stopped cravenly giving these companies every single thing they demand?

Is it really beyond the wit of a government which, after all is supposed to be socially caring, to pass a law insisting that one day a week (perhaps Mondays) no bookies will be allowed to open, or conduct any trade over the internet? That on that day there should be no horse or dog racing anywhere in the U.K.

This would be good news for stable staff and trainers, betting shop staff and those employed by racecourses and stadiums; as well as the punters.

Gambling is going to become as big a social problem as alcohol and alcoholism has over the past twenty years. I do not speak as a Puritan but as someone who has followed horse racing for thirty years, but enough is enough, for everybody. The present situation is one of sheer greed and lunacy.
Philip Clayton, London

Pat Eddery - best ride was on Grundy against Bustino at Ascot.
Winston, Maidenhead

In reply to Charles Rear. El Gran Senor - Can you say if Eddery had ridden him differently he definitely would have won? The horse didn't truly stay 12f.

I would like to thank Pat for the many years of pleasure he has given the sport
Simon Adams, Southampton

You come up with two instances from his whole career? Hardly a case is it? Any rider with a career as long as Eddery's will have lost races he should have won. So what? Eddery wasn't perfect, no one is, but I think most will agree he was a great rider.
John, Sheffield

I would like to wish Pat all the best for the future. No one will forget his win on Quest For Fame in the Derby and his rides on Dancing Brave. I would like to thank Pat for the many years of pleasure he has given the sport and once again wish him all the best, you're a legend of our time
Simon Adams, Southampton

I am only 12 years old, I have heard a lot about Pat Eddery from my my great grandfather who has since died. He used to back the mounts of Pat, we hope he has a very happy retirement.
Danny Napton, Plymouth

I will always remember Pat's storming charge on Sheik Albadou in the Breeders Cup meeting, a brilliantly timed piece of riding that obliterated a high class field of sprinters at an unbelievable price. I think Pat's new venture will be very popular, I hope it goes well.
Mark Smith, Doncaster

The new track planned for Great Leighs is another nail in the coffin for turf horseracing in this country.
Chris Jones, Ilford,Essex

Sad to see you go Pat! Legend is a term used to frequently these days, this man deserves this accolade bestowed on him. I agree with Ritchie Povey, Pat's ride on Celeric in the 1997 Gold Cup was the Maestro at the height of his powers, enjoy your retirement Pat.
Shazir Ayub, Redbridge

I admire Pat Eddery for his personal qualities as much as his jockeyship, which is unsurpassed
Francis Kelly, Ballymena

To a great person, sportsman, who made me more money than you lost me...I will always remember you riding Grundy.
David Mansler, Canada

END OF A ERA. One of the best ever. Will be sadly missed.
John McKay, Scotland

Pat Eddery is undoubtedly a great sportsmen. I have followed his career since he was an apprentice and each and every day I look to see his intended mounts. Not because I wish to place a bet but because I can watch him ride, if televised, or check how he fared in next day's newspaper.

For me, Pat Eddery is horse racing: I will find it difficult to sustain the same interest when he retires. I admire his modesty and calm efficiency; his relentless application and sense of duty.

I admire him for his personal qualities as much as his jockeyship, which is unsurpassed. I have been lucky to see him frequently in Ireland and I do hope he will say farewell to us all at the Curragh before he finally bows out.

I am an English teacher but words fail me as I contemplate a racing future without him. Things will never be quite the same, whether Ascot or Windsor. Others may have footballers as heroes but for me, Pat Eddery, year in, year out has always been my idol. Thank you for a lifetime of sporting memories and good luck in your future enterprise.
Francis Kelly, Ballymena, N Ireland

Eddery - how many of us are really a good judge of a jockey? Many comments here re. Dancing Brave - one bad ride effectively ended Greville Starkey's career. Surely people remember Eddery blowing a Group 1 when mucking about on the best horse?:

Equal offences should receive equal penalties
Craig Staid

a) El Gran Senor b) Getting disqualified when 'winning' on Geoff Huffer's in the International at York. That was a big blow to a small stable. I didn't mind, I backed the second but another example of an Eddery mistake being overlooked by the sycophantic press.
Charles Rear, Manchester

Willie Supples' ride on Fayr Jag in the Wokingham Handicap exposed the inconsistency of the stewards. Willie Supple clearly dropped his hands a couple of strides from the line which cost him victory, albeit he was lucky to escape with a dead heat.

The incident was on a par with Richard Hills' ride on Buthaina at Newcastle earlier in the season. Richard dropped his hands close home, was joined on the line for a dead heat and was banned for the automatic 21 days although it was later reduced on appeal.

Equal offences should receive equal penalties and I am left fuming that nothing has been made of this recent incident.
Craig Staid, Northern Hemisphere

Royal Ascot was great for those in the royal enclosure, which no doubt all of your correspondents were. But outside the royal enclosure it was horribly overcrowded, the facilities were non-existent, and you could barely see the race course.

To add salt into the wound, you had to walk through and unbearably crowded public underground subway for about 15 minutes to get to the parade ring. Sort it out Ascot, we can't all be in the royal enclosure!
Mark Perry, Cambs

You can always back a horse trained by Johnston in the knowledge that it is there to try and win
Matthew Williams, London

Pat is the same age as myself and when he had his first winner in 1969, that was the time when I became a horse racing fan. So in all these years of racing he has always been there and I know there will be a void when he stops riding.

I'm saddened, as will all racing fans be, and it would be nice if the BBC commemorated his success with the help of Willie and maybe the Longfellow (if he's affordable) to give him a real good send off.
Dave Lofthouse, Stockton-on-Tees

If you have to name the top three jockeys in the world ever, Pat Eddery would have to be in that three. The other two were Lester Piggott and Steve Cauthen.
David, Barbados

Everyone seems to be forgetting Mark Johnston's five winners at Ascot. What an achievement for a great trainer, you can always back a horse trained by Johnston in the knowledge that it is there to try and win.
Matthew Williams, London

Although Pat is not the most charismatic of jockeys he surely is one of the greatest. It was fantastic to watch his epic battles with Steve Cauthen back in th 80s.
Peter, Wimbledon

Pat is an absolute modern day legend, pipped only by Lester Piggott
Jamie Bray, Birkenhead

What a typically great ride Pat Eddery gave Great Gatsby in the Derby, how amazing to maintain such an excellent standard throughout his career. I wish Pat every happiness and success in the future.
Carole Denton, Hazel Grove, Cheshire

An absolute modern day legend, pipped only by Lester Piggott. He was outstanding on Dancing Brave, the highlight for me in the "Arc", but also rode some other fantastic horses such as El Gran Senor and Pebbles. I don't think any punter will say a lot bad about him, a thorough professional!
Jamie Bray, Birkenhead

I'm so sad that Pat is choosing to get out of the saddle. Racing will miss him greatly - he is a fantastic jockey and one of my favourites.

I always look to see who he is riding at each meeting and he greatly influences where I place a bet. I hope he goes on to having a second career as brilliant as the first.
Bebie Waller, London

I must say that I am gutted that Pat is calling it a day but I suppose he couldn't go on forever. I have to say that my abiding memory of the great Pat Eddery is not on one of his great champions of the past, nor is it in victory.

I felt that the ride he gave The Great Gatsby at Epsom this year was brilliant on a colt who would have been hating the ground. It's funny to say that is the one I'll remember.

Eddery must be rated as one of the greatest jockeys of the 20th Century
Catrin Nack, Germany

Thank you Pat for all the great memories and I wish you all the best over the coming years with you new venture.
Craig Staid, UK

I would like to join in all the praise for Pat Eddery. He must be rated as one of the greatest jockeys of the 20th Century, and adding to all his wonderful achievements on Pebbles, Dancing Brave (wow), Sharpo etc., I think he rode a great race on The Great Gatsby in this year's Derby.

That was most unlucky. And I had to admire his determination, even at his age, at last year's 31 December trying to ride his 100th winner of the season.

It was very sad that he failed, and I hope he will get his Group One win this season! I certainly wish him all the luck needed, and only the best for his future.
Catrin Nack, Germany

I couldn't agree more with Francis Kelly. Pat Eddery was certainly the quietest of that great triumvirate but every bit their equal when it came to riding winners. I think that Pat is making the right decision by retiring while he is on top.

The sports world has changed with more emphasis being placed on breaking records and having a big media image. Pat is too much of a professional to change his style. I would want my kids to emulate his style long before considering the current trend.
Brendan Delaney, USA / Ireland

I'm so sad that Pat is choosing to get out of the saddle
Bebie Waller, London

Being English and a horse racing fan, I always look forward to the Breeders Cup because I see the stars both equine and human come over and if I can, I make it to event. When I lived in England, Eddery was always one of my favourite jockeys to follow, so when he came over here I was always on the lookout for his rides.

I was in Miami airport in 1989, picking up my parents from London and we were going to the Breeders Cup the following Saturday and there was Pat Eddery standing right next to me in proper clothes - it was really weird. That Saturday he rode a horse with Rose in the name in the turf, I backed it purely because he was on it, it got in the first three and was unlucky not to win, it was ridiculous odds.

But who can forget his ride on Pebbles? It was just masterful, but I have another one which I think was of equal greatness. I was at Arlington Park in 1983 when the great John Henry was running in the third Arlington million, he was all the rage and there was this horse from the UK called Tolemeo.

I was talking to some fans as we lined up to put our bets on and they heard my accent and were asking me what about this Tolemeo? I said all I can tell you is he got close in our Classics and he is being ridden by, if not close to it, the best jockey in the World right now, and he will be given a class ride, the rest is history. He brought him down the rails with a superb ride and at ludicrous odds. My wife and I had a great night out in Chicago. Mr Eddery it was a pleasure to watch you apply your trade.
John Davies, Atlanta

What a fantastic ambassador for the sport. Two of my best racing memories are the Gold Cup ride on Celeriac (taking a pull in the last furlong) and Warning in the Sussex Stakes. Awesome hands, a great loss to the sport.
Ian Sunderland, London

Thanks to Pat for all the wonderful memories. Who can forget his rides on Grundy in 1975, both the Derby, and more notably his epic battle with Bustino in the "King George"? As a child, these races lit my enthusiasm for horse racing. Enjoy your retirement, Pat, you deserve it!
Pauline, Hertfordshire

I'm so sad that Pat is choosing to get out of the saddle. Racing will miss him greatly - he is a fantastic jockey and one of my favourites. I always look to see who he is riding at each meeting and he greatly influences where I place a bet. I hope he goes on to have a second career as brilliant as the first.
Bebie Waller, London

After what passes for jockeyship in this country now, it is such a shame that Pat Eddery is retiring even if he is 51 years old.

Other than Kieran Fallon and the odd ride from Frankie Dettori not one of the so called top jockeys can hold a candle to Pat, I'll certainly miss him and that brilliant riding style.

Can anyone forget him on Dancing Brave? What a combination.
Hugh Dorman, England

I will be very sad to see Pat hang up his boots at the end of the season, but all good champs have there day and Pat had 30 great years in the game.

He is the last of that great triumvirate of Flat jockeys that dominated British racing - Piggott, Carson & Eddery.
Jeremy White, Essex

The only bad things I could say about Pat is that when he's on a beaten horse he drops his hands which I believe is wrong, and also sometimes his choice of rides is questionable.
Blakey, Birmingham

Many congratulations to Pat Eddery on his remarkable career.

He was one of the most reliable jockeys - you could always back his rides with confidence.

His career proves that in the best sports, youth is not the be all and end all - experience can keep you competitive or make you even better.

It is almost unbelievable that someone could stay at the top of his sporting profession as long as he has - especially so when one considers the physical wasting that flat jockeys have to endure day in day out.

He is the last of that great triumvirate of Flat jockeys that dominated British racing - Piggott, Carson & Eddery.

I have followed his career since he was an apprentice and each and every day I look to see his intended mounts. Not because I wish to place a bet but because I can watch him ride, if televised, or check how he fared in next day's newspaper.

For me Pat Eddery is horse racing: I will find it difficult to sustain the same interest when he retires.

I admire his modesty and calm efficiency; his relentless application and sense of duty. I admire him for his personal qualities as much as his jockeyship which is unsurpassed.

I have been lucky to see him frequently in Ireland and I do hope he will say farewell to us all at the Curragh before he finally bows out. I am an English teacher but words fail me as I contemplate a racing future without him. Things will never be quite the same whether Ascot or Windsor.
Francis Kelly, N.Ireland

Good luck to Pat for the future.
Jeremy White, Essex

Pat Eddery is a racing legend and he rode many great horses. Two of the best rides that stick out in my memory are Dancing Brave in the Arc and Celeric in the Ascot Gold Cup.
Ritchie Povey, Coalville, Leicestershire

I think Willie Supple gave Fayr Jag a terrible ride on Saturday dropping his hands just before the line ending in a dead heat.
Gary, Slough

Just getting into the swing of the Internet. Can you please tell me how I can watch the races on the Internet, and also how I can check the dates and times that races in the UK are run?
Ted Kenny, Australia

Many people have been quick to jump on the bandwagon regarding Hawk Wing's performance at Ascot, with many people believing that his Newbury demolition was a one off.

Hawk Wing is a horse that needs TLC all year round and must be checked over constantly due to his knack of picking up niggling injuries - the story of his season last year after the Derby. It would be a great shame not to see the best miler of last decade run again.

The Irish Derby, next week, is a one horse race. Dalakhani will win easily. Kris Kin will show that it was one of the weakest derbies for years.
Mark, Essex

Most impressed by the double achieved by Choisir
Peter Fleming, Bedfordshire

Great website, and glad to hear of an Aussie horse, Choisir, winning twice. Plus Russian Rythum winning too. Too bad I can't get the races here in Alaska at least. Great racing for the world. America can't hold a candle to racing overseas. They try though. Thanks for the website!
Andrew Klein, Alaska

Surely the talking point of this years meeting has to be the wonderful performances of Choisir. Confirming what we've suspected in Australia for a while that despite our stayers not being up to international standard, our sprinters are the best in the world.
Brett, Australia

Most impressed by the double achieved by Choisir. I have been following racing for about 30 years and cannot remember a horse winning both the Kings Stand and Golden Jubilee (presumably formerly Cork and Orerry) sprints. (Although I don't suppose many have tried).

The Aussies thrash us at cricket, have a big presence in rugby (union and league), a growing presence in football and now take our top races.
Peter Fleming, Bedfordshire

Without doubt, Choisir's wins are the highlights of the week at Ascot, no other horse has won twice. I think this highlights the substandard lot of UK sprinters currently in work.
Simon Pryor, London

The fifth day of Ascot should be a hat-free day. Ascot should bring itself into the modern era for one day - make it a people's event, no caging into enclosures based on social class and reduced entry across the board. That might make it worth attending.
Ian Taylor, UK

Why do people insist on going-on about 'hat free days' and the like?

Snobbery and elitism have nothing to do with it
Nick, Kingston-Upon-Thames

This is a traditional and fun race meeting and we shouldn't feel guilt ridden by social conscience and all wear dungarees and cloth caps. If we want to dress up for the day why shouldn't we?

Snobbery and elitism have nothing to do with it - I'm in the Royal Encolsure and am perfectly down to earth. People should get their facts straight.
Nick, Kingston-Upon-Thames

I'm absolutely gutted. Hawk Wing had a chance to be a superstar to remember but failed to deliver. I`m afraid this is one poor performance too many, now I'll have to hope another horse of his potential comes along.
Michael, Aberdeen

Can anyone tell me why the stewards in Roscommon decided to let the result of the 7.30pm race on Monday stand? The jockey on the winner clearly pulled his mount accross the second horse who had made up 3 lengths on him from the last fence and looked quite capable of gaining another 2 or 3.
Chris Connolly, Ireland

What a shame that one of the best race meetings of the year is still spoiled by all this upper crust pomp and nonsense. Snobbery and elitism has no place in modern day sport and its time it was done away with we should be concentrating on the real meaning of Royal Ascot, Horse Racing, and not watching what outfits Lord and Lady whatshisname are wearing.
Niall, Dublin, Ireland

Re: Phillip Jones. How can you blame Quinnie for Norse Dancer not being in the first three. It was a miracle how he was last coming round Tattenham and he still managed to get him as close as he did. So instead of criticising him, give him credit for a great ride, he still is one of the best jocks around.
Matthew, North London

I feel cheated by the shocking ride Richard Quinn gave Norse Dancer
Phillip Jones, North Wales
I wonder how long it will be before this year's Derby winner, Kris Kin, owned by a Dubai businessman, will either be flogged off to Godolphin or to Japan?
Victoria Wright, London

After watching the Derby this year I feel cheated by the shocking ride Richard Quinn gave Norse Dancer. The horse was still placed last coming round Tattenham Corner and sprouted wings to grab fourth place. This bad ride cost me a lot of money as I had a tenner on him at 100/1 in January.

I just hope Norse Dancer and Richard Quinn meet Kris Kin again and prove that they he was truly the best horse over the derby trip. I am really looking forward to the rematch and again I will be backing 'The Dancer'!!
Phillip Jones, North Wales

After watching the Belmont Stakes here in New York City, I once again realized how much good race riding we here in the States are missing. Mr Fallon's ride was one of pure confidence and sheer brilliance, evoking memories of the great Yves St Martin and Lester Pigot.

I think Fallon's ride on Kris Kin was one of the best in the last 30 years, I got on at 14-1 as I could not believe that the combination of Michael Stoute and Kieran Fallon was being ignored, especially after the horse's win at Chester - the hardest track to win on in the UK.
B Gannon, Maidstone, Kent





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