Did Greville Starkey ever win the Derby?
Sadly, the late Greville Starkey, who died in April, 2010, at the age of 70, will always be best remembered for ‘losing’ the 1986 Derby. His mount, Dancing Brave, was sent off 2/1 favourite for the Epsom Classic but, having been held up at the rear of the field, was a long way out of his ground as the field turned for home. Dancing Brave made relentless progress up the straight but, at the winning post, was still half a length behind the winner, Shahrastani, ridden by Walter Swinburn. Starkey was, unjustly, pilloried for setting Dancing Brave an impossible task in a steadily-run race and one losing ride would overshadow his career.
To answer the question, yes, Greville Starkey did win the Derby and it shouldn’t be forgotten that, in so doing, he produced one of the boldest, strongest rides ever seen on Epsom Downs. In the 1978 Derby, Starkey rode Shirley Heights, trained by John Dunlop and, approaching the furlong marker, appeared to have little chance of winning as Hawaiian Storm, ridden by Bill Shoemaker, made the best of his way home. However, galvanised by Starkey, Shirley heights made rapid late progress against the inside rail, getting up to beat the long-time leader by a head in the final stride.