How many times did Walter Swinburn win the Derby?

How many times did Walter Swinburn win the Derby?  The late Walter Swinburn, who suffered a fatal head injury after falling from a window at his home in Belgravia, Central London in December, 2016, aged 55, was best known as the jockey of Shergar, on whom he won the Derby for the first time in 1981. Affectionately nicknamed the ‘Choirboy’ because of his youthful looks, Swinburn was just 19 years old when he partnered Shergar to a record 10-length success at Epsom. Indeed, his unparalleled rout of seventeen rivals led BBC commentator Peter Bromley to exclaim, ‘There’s only one horse in it. You need a telescope to see the rest!’

Swinburn won the Derby again in 1986 on Shahrastani who, like Shergar, was owned by
Shāh Karim al-Husayni, a.k.a. Aga Khan IV, trained by Michael Stoute and won the Sandown Classic Trial in impressive fashion en route to Epsom. In a contentious renewsal, Shahrastani, was sent off 11/2 second favourite behind the unbeaten Dancing Brave, but took the lead two furlongs out and held on by an ever-diminishing half a length.

Nine years later, in 1995, Swinburn won his third and final Derby on Lammtara, owned by Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum and trained by Saeed bin Suroor, following the murder of his original trainer, Alex Scott, the previous September. Making just his second start ever, and returning from a 302-day absence, Lammtara was sent off at 14/1 at Epsom, but produced a strong burst inside the final furlong to lead close home and beat Tamure by a length.

Where, and when, did Richard Johnson ride his first and last winners?

Where, and when, did Richard Johnson ride his first and last winners?  At the time of his shock retirement in April, 2021, Richard ‘Dicky’ Johnson had ridden 3,819 winners, a figure surpassed only by his great friend and rival Sir Anthony McCoy. Johnson rode his first winner, Rusty Bridge, trained by his mother, Susan, in a hunters’ chase at Hereford on April 30, 1994. He won the Conditional Jockeys’ Championship in 1995/96 and, over the next two decades, finished runner-up in the National Hunt Jockeys’ Championship, behind McCoy, on no fewer than 16 occasions. McCoy retired in April, 2015 and Johnson finally emerged from his shadow to win the jockeys’ title four years running, in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Interestingly, on the day of his retirement, at Newton Abbot, Johnson gave up his last scheduled ride on the card, such that his last actual ride was Brother Tedd, on whom he’d won McCoy’s final race at Sandown Park six years previously. His last winner, though, was Camprond, fittingly trained by Philip Hobbs – to whom he had been first jockey since 1999 – in a maiden hurdle at Taunton on March 23, 2021. In his 27-year career, Johnson took over 20,000 rides.

Who is Rachael Blackmore?

Who is Rachael Blackmore?  Nowadays, Rachael Blackmore is stable jockey to Henry De Bromhead and her rise to prominence has gone hand-in-hand with that of the Co. Waterford trainer in recent years. Born in Killenaule, Co. Tipperary in July, 1989, Blackmore was, by her own admission, an ‘extremely average’ amateur jockey, but nevertheless turned professional in March, 2015, because she ‘just needed the practice’.

She rode her first winner as a professional, Most Honourable, trained by John ‘Shark’ Hanlon, in a handicap hurdle at Clonmel in September, 2015. The following season, 2016/17, Blackmore rode 32 winners and became the first female jockey to be crowned Irish Champion Conditional Jockey. Subsequent seasons yielded 34, 90 and 61 winners, respectively and in 2020/21, so far, she has ridden 82 winners and trails only reigning champion Paul Townend, by just four, in the race for the Irish National Hunt jockeys’ title.

Blackmore rode her first winner at the Cheltenham Festival, A Plus Tard, in the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase in 2019 and her first Grade One winner, Minella Indo, in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the same Festival three days later. She has since added eleven more victories at the highest level, including Honeysuckle in the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.

How many times has Ryan Moore completed the 1,000 Guineas – Oaks double?

How many times has Ryan Moore completed the 1,000 Guineas – Oaks double?  Although he British Champion Jockey in 2006, 2008 and 2009, Ryan Moore has, since 2015, been first choice jockey to Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle Stables, Co. Tipperary. Indeed, it was in that capacity that he completed the 1,000 Guineas – Oaks double for the first time in 2016 and did so again in 2020. Moore had won the 1,000 Guineas twice before, on Homecoming Queen, trained by O’Brien, in 2012 and Legatissimo, trained by David Wachman, in 2015, and the Oaks once before, on Snow Fairy, trained by Ed Dunlop

In 2016, Minding – later described by O’Brien as ‘one of the best fillies I have ever trained’ – justified favouritism in the 1,000 Guineas, leading home an O’Brien 1-2-3 in the process. The Galileo filly suffered a facial injury leaving the stalls when narrowly beaten, at long odds-on, in the Irish equivalent, but justified favouritism, again, in the Oaks. In fact, had she been trained by anyone but O’Brien, she may well have contested the Derby, rather than the Oaks.

Four years later, Ryan Moore won both fillies’ Classics in the same season for a second time, aboard another Galileo filly, Love. She won the 1,000 Guineas by 4¼ lengths and the Oaks impressively, by 9 lengths. Like Minding in 2016, Love was named Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly in 2020.

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