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New Zealand record holder and Cox Plate winning jockey David Walsh has confirmed his retirement from the saddle.

Walsh, who has battled ill health this season, announced his decision on Wednesday.

“Retiring has been on my mind for a while, but I didn’t want to make the call until I felt better and now the time is right,” Walsh told nzracing.co.

“I haven’t got anything lined up at the moment, but I’m hoping to stay in the game whether it be in a steward’s role or working with apprentices. It would be nice to think there might be something.”

Walsh rode more than 2500 winners throughout his career, passing Lance O’Sullivan’s mark when he rode No. 2360 in in April, 2014, aboard Willy Duggan in the Marlborough Cup.

He rode his first winner in 1974 and won the premiership in 1983-84 and again the following year.

Walsh’s Group One wins include the 1986 Adelaide Cup and Caulfield Cup on (Mr) Lomondy and the 1994 Cox Plate on Solvit.

“You can’t top a Cox Plate,” he said. “That would be the absolute highlight. You dream of winning a race like that.”

In a stint as a trainer, Walsh won the 2003 Group One NZ Bloodstock Breeders’ Stakes with Zirna.

“Racing has been great to me and I’ve loved every minute of it,” he said.

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