Derby joy for Simon Walker and Peter Hedger at Epsom

Mon 28 Aug 2017

By Racinguk.com staff

Choosing the wrong horse is something every jockey has been guilty of but Simon Walker got his selection spot on at Epsom as he steered C'est No Mour to glory in the Poundland Saves The Day Amateurs' Derby Handicap.

Holding the 5-2 favourite up at the rear of the field for much of the mile-and-a-half contest - Walker, who won the race back in 2009 aboard Hibiki - brought the Peter Hedger-trained four-year-old from last to first to claim victory by a length and a quarter.

Walker said: "I've won it twice, but I've missed the winner twice as well, riding the wrong one."

He added: "It's a pleasure. Mr Hedger has been good to me over the years. I had a fair few offers, but he planned it out and rang me a month and a half ago, so if he has put thought into it is worth riding.

"All the amateurs want to ride in it. If they can get a ride in it they will be here, that's for sure. It's the best race of the year for us."

While Midterm has often proven a source of frustration, the one-time Derby favourite got his stop-start career back on track for trainer Sir Michael Stoute when bounding to glory by two and a half lengths in the Poundland Family Favourite Conditions Stakes.

After comfortably accounting for favourite Mount Logan, winning rider Ryan Moore said of the 7-4 winner: "It is nice to get him back on track. He is a horse we always thought a lot of. Hopefully he will go on from here now."

It is often only horses that reach the top that have races run in their name, but three-times Epsom Dash winner Caspian Prince was awarded that honour in the five-furlong handicap, which was won by the Tim Easterby-trained Midnight Malibu (7-2).

Stephen Louch, owner of Caspian Prince, said: "It was about five or six weeks after the Dash that Epsom contacted us and gave us the good news. They said they are going to hang a canvas in the owners' room of the Dash as well.

"To get a race named after him is amazing and we are delighted."

Celebrating a winner at the home of the Derby is noteworthy for any owner and Seprani (7-1), from the yard of Marco Botti, ensured the Book 3 Partnership received a taste of what that feels like with a three-quarters of a length triumph in the All New Fiesta At Trust Ford Handicap.

Part-owner Malcolm Grant said: "She has been getting better and better, we weren't quite sure about the track but she loved it. This crowd is about 10 times bigger than she has ever seen."

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Success in the Derby is unlikely to ever head the way of 77-year-old Hook handler Peter Hedger. However, he was equally delighted after C'est No Mour won the amateur equivalent: "It's taken me a long time to win a Derby. Any Derby is great to win."

PERFORMANCE OF THE DAY: Although the Classic aspirations of Midterm have been consigned to the past, he showed a big race could still yet be in him when quickening clear in the manner of the horse he has long been thought of in the mile-and-a-quarter conditions event.

RIDE OF THE DAY: Simon Walker is regarded of as one of the best amateur riders in the game and underlined why when showing a calm head to bring C'est No Mour from last to first in the amateur derby.

DRAMAS OF THE DAY: After Harry Bentley was catapulted on exiting the stalls from Chica De La Noche in the six-furlong handicap, his colleague Robert Winston suffered the same fate on Boom The Groom in the following five-furlong handicap. Three-times champion jockey Ryan Moore also hit the deck after Aleef bolted on the way to the start in the very race Winston endured his slip from the saddle.

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