‘It’s the Derby and it’s incredible’: unexpected result at Epsom shines light on hard-working British jockey

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  • Adayar provided hard-working, experienced British jockey Adam Kirby with his first British Classic success when claiming the 2021 Cazoo Derby today (5 June) at Epsom.

    It was a landmark win for the legendary Frankel, the sire of this horse, as Adayar quickened up to the line to claim victory by four-and-a-half lengths for trainer Charlie Appleby and owner, Godolphin.

    “I went a bit weak half a furlong out. My mother will be watching — she’ll be happy and that made me a bit sad for a second,” said Adam of his 16/1 shot after the race. “Racing is swings and roundabouts, but Charlie Appleby is a top man — I can’t thank him enough. He is a true gent and a great trainer. Thanks to them for putting me on this lad — it’s the Derby and it’s incredible.”

    Epsom Derby 2021 winner EPSOM, ENGLAND - JUNE 05: Adam Kirby celebrates after riding Adayar to win The Cazoo Derby at Epsom Racecourse on June 05, 2021 in Epsom, England. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, only owners along with a limited number of the paying public will be allowed to attend the meeting. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

    Epsom Derby 2021 winner

    Adayar, who is out of a Dubawi mare and was bred by Godolphin, was drawn in stall one and to win the Epsom Derby from there is a rare achievement. The field went a strong gallop, but Adam had his horse on the rail, going the shortest route throughout the race. The colt was brave to take a gap up the inner on the home straight and quickened up well to power home ahead of 50/1 shot Mojo Star.

    Adayar was the second string for Godolphin, with Hurricane Lane, who finished eventual third under William Buick, going off strongest in the betting for connections.

    “Thank you to team Godolphin and Sheikh Mohammed — I couldn’t be happier,” said a delighted Charlie Appleby post-race. “I thought this horse was more of a St Leger type, but Sheikh Mohammed said ‘run him — he’s a horse for the Derby’ and he was right. Adam gave him a fantastic ride and days like this are magical days. He’s a scopey horse and only time will benefit him even more — he’s a lovely horse to have around.”

    Bolshoi Ballet, who went off favourite at 11/8 under Ryan Moore for Oaks’ winning trainer, Aidan O’Brien, finished seventh.

    Continued below…

    Read the full report from the Derby meeting in the 10 June issue of Horse & Hound magazine.

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