ADAM KIRBY won the biggest race of his career when landing the big one yesterday, the Cazoo Derby on Adayer for Godolphin.
He didn’t just win it, he won it convincingly by 4 1/2 lengths on the 16/1 owner’s third string from Mojo Star and it was another 3 1/4 lengths back to Godolphin’s “first string,” Hurricane Lane. Was there ever a more popular winning jockey for the Blue Riband of the Turf than Adam Kirby? One would hazard a guess not in a long time. The 32-year-old has been inundated with texts, tweets and messages of all descriptions from well-wishers…and rightly so!
The jockey merry-go-round kicked into overdrive in recent days. Adam was originally due to ride John Leeper for Ed Dunlop, then when Aidan O’Brien stated his intentions to saddle just one horse, the favourite, Bolshoi Ballet, Frankie became available and he then replaced Adam on John Leeper. Dual Champion jockey, Oisin Murphy had been the original rider for Adayer, the son of Frankel but Adam Kirby has been a major part of the Godolphin operation for many years and Charlie Appleby replaced Oisin with Adam leaving the Champion with no ride in the race.
And what a spare ride that became for A Kirby!
He always had the horse handy and made a daring run up the inside rail two furlongs from home. Once through the narrow gap, Adayer skipped clear and was never for catching.
This may have been Adam’s first Classic success but it was his ninth Group One victory, having tasted success on Lethal Force and Harry Angel among others. He has had a long association with Harper Lodge Farm, for whom he has been victorious 19 times out of 143 rides at a strike rate of 13% and has earned just under £200k in prize money for connections.
On behalf of everyone associated with Dean Ivory Racing Stables, a huge well done to Adam and hopefully this excellent horseman and dedicated rider will go on to many more big race successes…including maybe a few for Harper Lodge Farm!