sport

Tizzard announces retirement

Joe Tizzard has announced his retirement from the saddle.

The Grade One-winning rider, famed in recent seasons for his association with the top-class Cue Card, had been scheduled to have two rides at Newbury on Friday.

The 34-year-old's last four Grade One wins all came via his father Colin's best ever horse, with Cue Card announcing his arrival on the big stage in the 2010 Champion Bumper.

Tizzard senior said: "He just decided this morning that he was going to stop. We've got a lot of horses in and that's his future.

"Everyone has been waiting for it for a long time and when you start thinking about stopping, you've just got to stop.

"If Cue Card had been going to Aintree I'm sure he wouldn't have stopped now, but he has.

"He'll be helping me and it's great he has finished in one piece."

Last season Cue Card won the Betfair Ascot Chase in February and followed up in impressive fashion at the Cheltenham Festival in the Ryanair Chase.

Victorious in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November last year, he looked certain to win the King George on Boxing Day but Cue Card got tired close home and was then denied the chance to run in the Gold Cup by injury.

Father and son also teamed up to win the 2007 Feltham Novices' Chase with the popular Joe Lively and the Classic Chase at Warwick with Hey Big Spender in 2012.

Tizzard made his name as a young jockey for Paul Nicholls, with Flagship Uberalles the first horse to really put him on the map.

He won the Arkle in 1999, followed up at Aintree and won the Tingle Creek the following season.

Another big win for Tizzard came on Richard Barber's Earthmover in the Foxhunter at Cheltenham in 1998.

Tony McCoy said: "He'll be sorely missed, he's had a very successful career."

Speaking from his Dorset base, Joe Tizzard told Racing UK: "It's a bit of a surprise, but it's a decision I've been thinking about for possibly 24 hours and then this morning I decided that was it.

"As a jockey I think you know what the time's up. I've had less and less rides over the last few seasons, and less winners.

"We've got two big operations at home, with the racing and the farming. I've done my time as a jockey, I've had a fabulous time of it, but it's time to move on."

Tizzard went on: "It wasn't until 10am this morning I decided the time was right to stop. Nobody knew until 10.30am this morning. I went and told my wife Emma and then went and told dad.

"There was no particular thing that swayed me. It was just that the time was right."