In-demand Dutch rider Adrie De Vries is keen to carry on in the saddle for at least the next few seasons before fulfilling a long-held ambition to become a trainer.

A 12-time champion jockey in Holland, it took him two decades in the saddle to claim his first winner at Group 1 level, that race being the Italian Oaks.

It was not until the age of 45 that de Vries hit the big time in a major racing nation, taking the German jockeys’ title.

Turning the clock forward to this year, he is in demand from Dusseldorf to Doha from the likes of Saeed bin Suroor and Karl Burke.

Even before 2016 was out, he partnered the impressive chestnut colt Noor Al Hawa to a three-length success in the Qatar Derby.

At the Dubai World Cup Carnival, de Vries rode a treble in early February before taking a valuable prize in Qatar for Epsom trainer Simon Dow, and a Super Saturday success back at Meydan on board Prize Money for Godolphin.

“It has been a fantastic season so far, with plenty of Carnival winners, and when the entries come out each Monday I am constantly taken aback by the quality of the horses that my agent has put me up on,” reflected de Vries.

Barring a few visits to the Shergar Cup and a 2012 Tercentenary Stakes winner at Royal Ascot he has been a rare visitor to British shores. Yet if the opportunity arose he would relish the challenge of coming over more often.

For the moment he is looking forward to heading back to Germany to help his boss, Markus Klug, in his bid to retain the trainers’ title.

I didn’t expect to still be riding top class horses

With his wife Lorna – who is a highly accomplished rider in her own right – he hopes to build up a successful training career once he quits the saddle, even though the question of when remains very much unknown.

De Vries added: “My career has received a great boost so I’ll keep riding for at least another couple of seasons.

“I didn’t expect to still be riding top class horses at this stage, so I’m definitely not thinking about quitting.”