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Dehdashti calls time on riding career.

EAMON DEHDASHTI, who won the Lanzarote Hurdle in 2007 on Verasi, has said a reluctant goodbye to the sport he loves, owing to the increasing difficulty of securing enough rides to make a living, writes Nick Pulford.

Dehdashti, 28, announced his retirement at Huntingdon on Tuesday night in an emotional interview on Racing UK. In his final ride, his only one of the evening and his first for almost a fortnight, he pulled up on the Jeremy Naylortrained Acosta.

"I've been planning to get out of racing for the past seven or eight months," he said yesterday. "It's become very hard to get rides and I have to be a realist.

"Every year I have asked myself whether I should keep going and the time has come for the head to rule the heart. I don't have any qualifications and the longer I stay in racing, the harder it will be to get a proper job.

"It's not the decision I wanted to make because I love racing. It's been a passion and a dream for me, and I want to thank all the trainers who have supported me."

Dehdashti started work with Gary Moore, Verasi's trainer, the day after leaving school at 15 and was champion amateur on the all-weather in 2003-04.

"Winning the Lanzarote was a highlight and I've had the time of my life," he added. "Whatever job I do now will never be able to match racing for the fun in the yard and the mates I've made."

Dehdashti rode 42 winners on the Flat and over jumps. Last season his number of rides over jumps dwindled to 68, roughly half the usual figure.

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Eamon Dehdashti: unable to secure enough rides to make a living
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 26, 2011
Words:291
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