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Pioneering female rider and trainer Joanna Morgan plans to stay in racing in some capacity after announcing she is to give up her licence.

She is hoping to go out on a high with her last runner, Duchess Andorra, in the snow at St Moritz next month.

Morgan, 61, broke new ground in her lifetime in racing. She was the first woman to ride in an Irish Classic aboard Riot Helmet in the 1976 Irish Derby and was the first to be placed in one when she was third on El Cito in the Irish St Leger in 1980.

She rode winners all over the world and was the first woman to ride at Royal Ascot.

“I had a winner in every continent as a jockey. I rode a winner in Kenya very early on in my career. I had winners in America, Japan, Dubai and Australia as well,” Morgan said.

“At that time it was an extraordinary thing for a woman to ride in Classics and at Royal Ascot. It’s moved on since those days.”

Morgan rode a winner for Neville Begg in Australia in January 1980, just a couple of years after women were licensed to ride against their male counterparts.

She trained a Royal Ascot winner in 2013 when Roca Tumu landed the Britannia Handicap in 2013.

“I’m giving it up for no real reason except that my heart wasn’t in it. You have to be so passionate and it’s such a commitment,” Morgan said.

“My last runner will be Duchess Andorra at St Moritz on February 22.

“I’d hope I’d get some sort of a gig doing something to keep myself busy. Something not quite as full-on.”

 
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