History-making jockey Kelly retires after 'dream' career

London (AFP) –


Lizzie Kelly announced Thursday she was retiring after "a dream" career when she became the first woman jockey to win a Grade One race over fences in Britain.

The 27-year-old is expecting a baby with her husband Ed and said it was highly unlikely she will return to ride competitively.

Kelly made history when she rode Tea For Two to victory in the Grade One Kauto Star Novices Chase at Kempton on December 26, 2015.

Tea For Two -- trained by her stepfather Nick Williams -- was also to provide her with another high profile victory at Aintree.

A less pleasant experience was when he unseated her in the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup -- she was the first woman in 33 years to ride in the blue riband race of steeplechasing.

However, Kelly -- who said she overcame sexism and "trainer's daughter syndrome" to earn the respect of her rivals -- enjoyed two successes at jump racing's most prestigious Festival.

"I will not be returning to the weighing room this season and in all likelihood not at all," she said.

"I hope to continue working within the racing media, something I've always enjoyed and am passionate about," she said.

"I'll really miss race riding but won't miss those saunas. It's been a dream. Thanks to all."

Bookmakers were more circumspect about where her future lay.

Ladbrokes offered 3/1 she would return to the saddle and ride a winner before January 2022, though she is also 8/1 to train a winner before then as well.