Finian Maguire races to Amateur Derby glory at Epsom

Irish rider triumphs with borrowed equipment

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What started off as a potential nightmare ended on a bright note for young Irish rider Finian Maguire after Medalla De Oro stormed to glory in the China Southern Sanya Amateurs’ Derby Handicap at Epsom.

With his riding gear failing to arrive at Gatwick Airport, the 20-year-old was forced to borrow equipment belonging to jump jockey Joshua Moore in order to take his ride aboard the Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained four-year-old in the mile-and-a-half prize.

Keeping a calm head, Maguire, who is the son of former Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning rider Adrian Maguire, made all aboard the 5-1 shot to defeat Orsino by six lengths and claim his first ever winner in Britain.

Maguire said: “He gave me a dream ride and switched off lovely. He was pricking his ears going down the hill and when I gave him a squeeze he picked up and I couldn’t believe when I looked around they were nowhere to be seen, so it was great.

“It was a joy on that fellow. He gave me a lovely spin. I got the call on Thursday and I was delighted.

“Not everyone can say that (riding a winner at Epsom). It’s an iconic racecourse, with so much history. To ride around it is a pleasure, but to have a winner is a dream come true.

“Dad was mainly jumps so that is one over him!”

He added: “My gear bag got lost in the airport. Everything I’m wearing is borrowed. I think it got left in Dublin by accident. I might have to keep it now as it is lucky gear.”

Gallant nine-year-old Gabrial (7-2) ended a lengthy losing streak when providing his owner Dr Marwan Koukash with his 500th British winner after surviving a stewards’ inquiry to land the Walter Nightingall Conditions Stakes by a head.

Delighted trainer Richard Fahey was not present, but said by telephone: “It is a bit of a milestone as it is Marwan Koukash’s 500th winner so it was probably fitting it should be the old boy who provided it.

“When I saw the head-on I thought he just followed the other horse across the track as he just wanted some company. I’d have been shocked if they took it off him.

“He is just an old warrior and a star. How he has kept his libido going I don’t know, but he never shirks at anything and loves his work.

“As for going forward, how does running on Champions Day sound?”

Although fellow nine-year-old and previous course winner Sovereign Debt finished back in fourth, his trainer Ruth Carr was far from despondent.

She said: “He has run well to the line, so we can’t blame the trip. He was just not good enough.

“There are plenty of options for him and we will be guided by the ground.”

While Carr was out of luck with her stable star, the North Yorkshire-based handler celebrated a winner of sorts after helping to assist with the Mick Easterby-trained Carlton Frankie, who denied Bahamian Sunrise by a neck in the China Southern Airlines Handicap.

Carr said of the 5-1 chance: “Our yards are about five miles from each other so it made sense to share a box. Us Yorkshire folk like to help each other when we can!”

Winning jockey James Sullivan added: “They went fast in front and that helped her. This fast five furlongs suited her down to the ground.”

Hughie Morrison celebrated bookended the card with wins for Indian Viceroy (1-2 favourite) and Deadly Accurate (9-2). The latter was ridden by Jason Watson, who was completing a brace of his own after winning on ZZoro (11-2) for Amanda Perrett.

Finian Maguire races to Amateur Derby glory at Epsom
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