HARTLEPOOL jockey Tony Hamilton has never ridden in one of The Classics – tomorrow he could well make a winning bow.
The 29-year-old will be aboard 12/1 shot Garswood in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket (3.50pm), the first of six Classics in the Flat season.
That Hamilton has kept the ride – he steered home the three-year-old in a Listed race two weeks ago – serves to highlight his progression in recent seasons.
Indeed, Garswood is considered the stable of North Yorkshire trainer Richard Fahey, and Hamilton cannot wait for his first taste of the sport’s most prestigious one-mile contest.
“For Richard and the owners to let me stay on him shows how much faith they must have in me,” he told SportMail.
“It would have been easy to get one of the more established lads in.
“So I’m over the moon I’ll be on him.
“He’s going there with a chance but it is a difficult race.
“I just hope he does himself justice.
“I rode him a fortnight ago when he won well at the same track.
“He travels well and picks up well so if things go his way then you never know.
“There are some top, unbeaten horses in the race but he deserves to be there on merit and I cannot wait.
“I’ve never ridden in one of The Classics and this will probably be our only horse who goes for one this season, so let’s hope we can give a good show of ourselves.”
Hamilton has started the season in fine style.
He has 14 winners under his saddle already and was only beaten in a photo-finish when attempting to make history aboard Brae Hill in March’s Lincoln Handicap.
“We would have been the first horse in 60 or so years to win back-to-back Lincolns,” he went on.
“He ran a cracker but just got caught on the line, that’s the way it goes sometimes.
“But I’ve had a great start to the season.
“Richard’s horses always come back fit so we usually make a good start.
“I’ve been given the opportunity to ride some better horses and I’ve had a few decent winners.
“It’s exciting times and everything is looking good for us.”