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.