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A plan hatched some time ago came to fruition today for jockey Martin Foster who announced his retirement from the saddle after winning on Heidi III at Carlisle.

As Foster, 29, and the Micky Hammond-trained Heidi III passed to post clear of Global Search in the J Noble's Promotions Car Boot Fair Novices Hurdle the jockey punched the air in delight.

Foster explained: 'This had been the plan for some time.

'I ride out for Micky every morning and I have done a lot of work on this horse - and we had decided a while ago that I would ride him when he had a chance.

'I have to thank Micky for putting me up and it is great that it has all worked out, though I must admit I am sorry to have to be packing in.

'But it is not the time to carry on, if you are not riding winners you don't get on other winners and it is just not practicable to carry on - it is difficult to keep the weight down if you are not riding regularly.'

Foster started his career with Martin Pipe, and he recalled: 'My first ride was Ryan's Dove at Fontwell and he was going to win but I fell off!

'I did not get another ride for nine months but I had my first success on Dan Marino at Towcester in 1989, and my biggest win came on Vagog in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.

'My wife Clare and I have a livery yard at Richmond, though she looks after that really and I will continue to ride out for Micky and travel horses to the races for him.'

Foster, whose Ascot victory on Vagog came in 1992, was also champion conditional jockey in 1990-91.