Local jockey wins season’s first major race

Jockey Tony Hamilton
Jockey Tony Hamilton

IT is a race unaffectionately known as the “stinking Lincoln”.

A one-mile cavalry charge of twenty-plus runners which has punters scratching their heads and, invariably, emptying their pockets.

For the men tasked with guiding home the runners it can be as much about good luck as expert jockeymanship.

But, for Tony Hamilton, the pressure was on.

Despite lengthy odds of 25-1, Brae Hill was well fancied by its stable.

And, with Hamilton having recently succeeded champion jockey Paul Hanagan as Richard Fahey’s number-one rider, all eyes were on the 28-year-old.

Edging the six-year-old gelding to the front of the 22-strong field some three furlongs from home, he was, in his own words, a “sitting duck”.

But the horse, and Hamilton, found just about enough to hold off the challengers as they made it first past the post to land the £62,250 prize for connections.

“The pressure was on a bit with Paul (Hanagan) not riding him,” Hamilton said, having seen his close friend take the unmissable opportunity to ride for the Sheik Hamdan Al Maktoum racing empire.

“If I’d been beaten people might have said ‘well, we would have won with “So once I got him to the front I was determined to stay there.

“We were a bit of a sitting duck if I’m honest, but we held on and I was over the moon because it’s my biggest win ever in terms of the prize money.”

Full story in Friday’s Mail