Racing: Orkney's eyes off prize

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The Independent Online
ANDY ORKNEY, who for the past four years has combined race-riding with running an optician's practice at Leyburn, close to the Yorkshire training centre of Middleham, announced his retirement from the saddle at Carlisle yesterday.

The 32-year-old, one of the characters on the northern circuit, was unable to bow out with a winner as his final ride, Dizzy, could finish only sixth.

Orkney entered the sport comparatively late in life, having begun as an amateur in the mid-1980s, turned professional in the summer of 1987 and went on to record a career tally under Rules of exactly 100.

He nominates his Aintree victory two seasons ago on Howe Street as the highspot of his career and said: 'I think it's only fair and honest to myself and all the people I ride for that I finish now. I've had a lot of ups and a lot of downs and I would say race-riding - especially good horses - is the best fun you can have with your clothes on.'