Freddy Head, one of a select band of champion jockeys to make a real success of training, will hand in his licence at the end of the year.

Head, who rode the multiple champion Miesque and guided the record-breaking career of Goldikova, has announced the decision to wind down having celebrated his 75th birthday in June.

Head said on Sunday morning: "Age catches up with us all and I've been working since I was 16. It's time for me to enjoy other things. I always felt 75 would be the time to stop and I'm delighted. I never wanted to go on past the stage where I was embittered, that would have been horrible.

"You need some luck and I've been very lucky to train some very good horses. It has been very pleasing because when I was a jockey I always wanted to train.

"When I rode I was always a little critical of trainers and I wanted to see if I was right. I rode for a lot of good people so I wanted to see if I could take different things I had learnt from them and put them altogether for myself. That has been the best thing about being a trainer."

Head enjoyed a phenomenal career in the saddle and won France's Cravache d'Or six times, no mean feat as his career largely coincided with that of the record-breaking Yves Saint-Martin.

His most famous association in the saddle was with Miesque, who completed the Newmarket and Longchamp Guineas double and recorded back-to-back victories in the Breeders' Cup Mile in 1997 and 1998.

Head also won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe with Bon Mot (1966), San San (1972), Ivanjica (1976) and Three Troikas (1979).

He began training from his yard on Chantilly's Avenue du General Leclerc in 1997 and won his first Group 1 with Marchand D'Or in the 2006 Prix Maurice de Gheest, a race he was to make his own.

Marchand D'Or won the Maurice de Gheest in three consecutive years, a feat repeated by the Head-trained Moonlight Cloud, who displayed her versatility in 2013 by landing Deauville's sprint championship and then the Prix Jacques le Marois over a mile just seven days later.

Many of Head's best horses raced in the colours of Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, including Solow, who blazed a trail through the 2015 season when winning five straight Group 1s between the Dubai Turf in March and the QEII Stakes at Ascot in October.

The famous blue-and-white Wertheimer silks were also carried by Goldikova, whose 14 Group 1s across five seasons remains a European record among Flat performers.

She became the first horse to win the same Breeders' Cup race three times when landing the Mile in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The trainer said: "Goldikova was an extraordinary mare, but I have very fond memories of Marchand D'Or, who was my first champion. He had a lot of problems but so much quality.

"I don't know why they all lasted in their careers. I suppose firstly they have to be very good – you couldn't have done that with any old horse – and then you have to love them."

Head became the first person to both ride and train a Breeders' Cup winner, a feat since matched by Joseph O'Brien.

His interest in racing will be strongly maintained by his children. His son Christopher has saddled a pair of Group-winning juveniles in recent weeks, while his daughter Victoria took out her training licence at the start of the year.

"To see what Christopher and Victoria are doing is fantastic and a great bonus for me. The Head name will go on."


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