Simon Walker conquers Epsom at last in Men’s Amateur Derby
Many congratulations on a sensational season so far for reigning champion amateur Simon Walker, who put the icing on the cake with his win at Epsom in the newly programmed Gentleman’s Epsom Derby on Monday, sponsored by Tompkins and May. This was a first success for Simon at Epsom having been placed many times in this Derby in the past, the race having been held at Sandown for the past two years with Epsom’s rebuilding programme being undertaken.
This gentleman riders’ amateur Derby, which is now open to all amateur gentleman jockeys who have completed 5 rides on the Flat, has undergone a change in the Programme Book for this season (having been a Fegentri race in the past and originally sponsored by Moet and Chandon) in order to allow AJA members every chance of the exhilarating experience of riding around this unique course.
9 runners went to post and a disaster was averted when Stephen Harrison sat tight with his horse, Hughie Morrison’s SLEEPY HOLLOW, stumbling badly on exiting the stalls. No one was keen to make it and a very steady pace was set with WICKSY CREEK leading the field around Tattenham Corner but as they came down the hill the pace quickened and Simon Walker and Philip Hobbs’ HIBIKI strode away to hold his rivals and win by 3/4 of a length from SLEEPY HOLLOW with Pat Phelan’s Ladies Epsom Derby winner EPSOM SALTS and Marcus Price held in third by another 3/4 of a length.
After the race Simon said “I’ve been second three or four times and it’s nice to get one at last. He’s a nice horse and travelled well. I looked for a horse to lead me and when I went for him he galloped to the line.”