All-weather champ Kirby gives himself reason to smile

Title reclaimed after flying start

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Adam Kirby may not be associated with elaborate celebrations – but he has a every reason to be cheerful after being crowned All-Weather Champion Jockey for the fourth time.

The 30-year-old capped what has been another productive winter by reclaiming the crown he first won during the 2012-13 season from his old adversary Luke Morris, recording a table-topping 69 winners.

Although Kirby can now reflect back on his achievement with a sense of satisfaction, it could have been a different picture had he not made a sharp start to the campaign.

Kirby said: “It’s been a long winter, but it is good to win the title again. It’s been a good run – but we got off to a good start, and it has been nice to have a bit of new competition.

“You can’t win these things or ride winners without being on the right horses. I think the world of all my trainers and I thank each and every one of them, because without their support this wouldn’t have happened.

“I didn’t even think about the title to be honest – it didn’t even enter my mind. We just got off to a good start, and when you are in the lead you don’t want to give it up.

“I was going to have an easy winter, but things changed quickly after about the first month.”

Selecting a stand-out ride may be tricky for Kirby, but he is in no doubt as to which horse has been his star performer.

He said: “I’m not really a person that is self-praising, but obviously riding winners puts a smile on your face.

“The nicest horse I probably won on was Keyser Soze. He is very talented.”

Making Kirby’s title win even more impressive is the fact he has had to juggle his riding commitments alongside running a breaking and pre-training yard with his partner and mother of his two children, Megan Evans, who is the daughter of trainer David Evans.

He said: “I like to stay busy – and we have the farm at home and we are busy with that. The racing in the winter keeps everything level.

“We have pre-trained a few over the winter, and that is something I have enjoyed, but it has obviously settled down now because most have gone back.

“It is something I enjoy, and Megan also enjoys it – something we are quite passionate about.

“We have been doing it for about four years. The place is coming to hand nicely, and we have got it how we want it.”

With the turf campaign now under way, Kirby – who has ridden a century of winners for the past eight years – hopes he can find the next Harry Angel or Lethal Force to give him more big days to enjoy over the summer months.

Kirby said: “You need support on the turf – without that it makes it very hard – but I’ve got a good relationship with Clive Cox, who is a big supporter, among others.

“I hope we will find a good horse that can be a Saturday horse.

“I’ve sat on a couple that could be nice horses – they could be very good – but it all boils down to the big days and whether they can bring it to track.”

All-weather champ Kirby gives himself reason to smile
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