Pat Eddery, the second most successful jockey in the history of British racing, is to retire at the end of the season.

The 51-year-old former champion announced at Windsor races yesterday that he will maintain his involvement in the sport through a new owners’ syndicate venture, Pat Eddery Racing, which will run alongside his existing breeding interests.

Pat, son of Irish champion jockey Jimmy Eddery, has been riding winners for 37 years and his current total of 4,586 places him 284 behind onlythe legendary Sir Gordon Richards in the list of winning jockeys.

He won three Derbys on Grundy, Golden Fleece and Quest For Fame; four Prix de l’Arc de Triomphes on Detroit, Rainbow Quest, Dancing Brave and Trempolino. His two Breeders’ Cuptriumphs were aboard Pebbles and Sheikh Albadou.

Pat has hinted that he may retire before the end of the turf season if he wins another Group 1 race. He came breathtakingly close to making it four Derbys on The Great Gatsby, who was passed by Kris Kin in the dying strides at Epsom earlier this month.

Pat told HHO: “I just feel it’s as good a time as any to pack up. I’ve been thinking about it for the last few months. I have been aware that Gordon Richards’s record was there to be broken but it would take a few more seasons to pass it.”

When asked what were the highlights of his incredible career, he said: “Golden Fleece was the best Derby ride I ever had, while Dancing Brave on Arc day was absolutely brilliant.”

Equalling Lester Piggott’s tally of 11 jockeys’ championships meant as much as anything to Eddery, who said: “That was something, to get level with a guy I’ve admired all my life. Horses and racing have been great for me; I’ve won major races all over the world. I’ve no regrets.”