WINCANTON Racecourse will celebrate the successful career and happy retirement of Dorset jockey Joe Tizzard this evening.

The six-race card features a three-mile one furlong 110 yard contest named Happy Retirement Joe Tizzard Handicap Chase (7pm).

The race has attracted 16 entries with Handy Andy representing Team Tizzard, and two possible contenders – Oscargo and Buck’s Bond – for Joe’s former stable, Paul Nicholls.

However, top trainers Donald McCain, Venetia Williams, Philip Hobbs and others also possess a strong hand in this competitive chase.

Wincanton general manager Steve Parlett said: “Joe has very much been part of the Wincanton team – through his marriage to Emma, our former sales executive, to our online blogger and his continual support across the racing seasons.

“On behalf of everyone associated at Wincanton, from staff to racegoers, we look forward to celebrating Joe’s successful race riding which started at Wincanton (with his first winner) and also provided him with his final winner.”

The Milborne Port jockey said: “Wincanton is one of my fav-ourite racecourses at which I have had many winners and will sorely miss being in the thick of the action. Nevertheless, I knew it was time for me to stop race riding and I’m thoroughly enjoying the new role and opportunities that unfold as assistant trainer to my father.

“Going forward, I’ll now be saddling the winners and looking for new owners.”

Gates open today at 4pm with racing getting underway at 6pm.